Don’t be afraid, Duterte tells Pinoys

Published August 2, 2020, 2:28 PM

Filipinos should not be afraid as the government implements measures to contain the spread of the new coronavirus disease, President Duterte said last Friday in the face of the surging cases of infections.

In his televised public address last Friday, the President has assured the nation that he has a capable and reliable government team to address the public health emergency.

Duterte however asked the public to bear with the quarantine measures and observe health precautions while the nation waits for the development of the coronavirus vaccine.

“Tiis-tiis muna kayo. Iyon lang. The entire Philippines, okay na, modified general community. Kaunting ingat lang, huwag mag… Do not mix together and observe the — itong distancing, the distance rule. Iyan lang hingiin ko sa inyo (Just bear with it for the meantime. the entire Philippines is play, it’s under modified general community quarantine. Take some precaution. Do no mix together. Observe distancing rule. That’s all I ask of you),” Duterte said in remarks aired on State television.

“Pero huwag kayong matakot, hindi ako nagyayabang, may bright tayo na Finance Secretary, may military ako na maasahan ko (But do not be afraid. I am not being arrogant. We have a bright finance secretary. I have a reliable military),” he said.

The President has placed Metro Manila, Cebu City, and 11 other areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) from Aug. 1 to 15 to limit the spread of the coronavirus illness. The least restrictive modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) is in effect in the rest of the country until mid-August.

In the same public address, Duterte announced plans to give free coronavirus vaccines to the people, initially to the poor, soldiers, policemen, and the middle class, once the supply is available. At least P20 billion can be allocated to purchase the coronavirus vaccines, according to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III.

Duterte said he intends to designate the military to supervise the coronavirus immunization drive to remove “partisan, favoritism, and petty corruption.”

The country’s latest quarantine level was announced last Friday as the cases of coronavirus soared to nearly 100,000.

With the latest community quarantine level, the government has pledged to scale up targeted testing, contact tracing, isolation, and treatment efforts to curb the transmission of the disease.

According to presidential spokesman Harry Roque, local government units in Metro Manila and nearby provinces have also been directed to implement strict localized lockdowns in communities where there is an outbreak of the disease.

He said the public is also encouraged to follow minimum health standards such as frequent hand washing, wearing of masks, keeping distance from others, and wearing of face shields especially in low ventilation settings.