MANILA, PHILIPPINES — To be secure against COVID-19, everyone must continue to wear masks in public until his term ends, said President Rodrigo Duterte on a speech aired late Monday.
“There is no way that masks will not be required. It will be a part of the protocol for a long time until the last day of my office. ‘Yan ang order ko at ‘yan ang sundin ninyo. Balang araw, well hindi ko na problema ‘yan,” Duterte said in a taped speech aired late Monday.
(There is no way that masks will not be required. It will be a part of the protocol for a long time until the last day of my office. That is my order and that is what you will follow. Someday that won’t be my problem anymore.)
He believed that people had become careless about wearing masks and following other health protocols, which was why COVID-19 cases were increasing again.
The Philippines, according to Duterte, cannot afford to disregard caution because it cannot endure another surge and lockdown.
“It was a reckless move to stop urging people to wear masks. Yun ang attitude nila pero tayo dito, sabihin ko lang di tayo mayaman [That is their attitude but here, I tell you we are not rich] we can hardly afford to meet another wave of the pandemic,” Duterte stated.
Duterte noted the need of wearing face masks decreases the risk of virus spread during election-related and religious festivities that gather large crowds.
“We have so many crowds lately – religious and political (And you can see people are very close to each other),” Duterte said, adding that health professionals have warned about the possible harmful impact of these physical large gatherings.
According to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire’s report to Duterte, other countries experienced a Covid-19 increase after the mandatory use of face masks was lifted. – WhatALife!