Duterte claims warning Philippines at start vs. coming COVID-19 virus

14-Apr-2021 Intellasia | GMANetwork | 5:02 AM Print This Post

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night claimed that he warned the country against the coming COVID-19 contagion “right at the beginning.”

Duterte made the remark on his first public appearance in two weeks and after Metro Manila and nearby provinces in the so-called NCR Plus bubble was released from the strictest enhanced community quarantine.

The National Capital Region, Laguna, Cavite, Risal and Bulacan went into ECQ after an exponential resurgence in the number of COVID-19 cases in March.

“Remember, right at the beginning, I was already delivering a very solemn speech… something coming our way. It’s a microbe, it’s a virus and eventually it would lead to our shores,” Duterte said in his weekly talk to the people.

“We must be prepared for this because… this can be another pandemic and true to form, ito na nga, pandemic na nga ang lumabas so noon pa sinasabi ko na walang gamot ito,” he added.

[It became a pandemic and even before I have been saying there's no cure for this.]

On January 29, 2020, Duterte said the Philippines was preparing for the worst-case scenario amid the global spread of the novel coronavirus, which at that time already infected thousands in several countries and killed over 100 in China.

The Philippines was still free of the virus on that day but 23 people were already under observation for possible infection.

Duterte, however, refused to immediately impose a travel ban on China saying it would be unfair to China since there were other nations with confirmed cases of COVID-19.

A few days later on February 2, 2020, he imposed a travel ban on mainland China and its special administrative regions Hong Kong and Macau. Taiwan was later on included but was lifted on February 14.

When the Philippines reported its first two confirmed cases, Duterte downplayed the COVID-19 scare, saying there was no need for the public to be hysterical.

Duterte also said he would not limit his public engagements amid the threat of the virus, adding that he would continue to shake people’s hands contrary to the health secretary’s advice.

A week later, Duterte lauded the Department of Health for its “prompt and efficient” response against the virus. He also quipped that he wanted to slap the virus, which is invisible to the naked eye.

On March 16 2020, Duterte placed the entire Luzon region under a month-long enhanced community quarantine due to the rising cases of COVID-19 in the country.

He also declared a state of public health emergency throughout the country.

Strict measures, including restrictions on travel and the closure of most establishments have been imposed during the period of the quarantine.

The Philippines has so far recorded a total of 876,225 cases of COVID-19 including 157,451 active cases, 703,625 recoveries and 15,149 fatalities.

Metro Manila and nearby provinces are currently under modified enhanced community quarantine until April 30.



Category: Philippines

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