Duterte ensures transparency amid 2019-nCoV ARD scare in PH

Published February 3, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Argyll Cyrus Geducos 

President Duterte assured the public that the government will remain transparent as it deals with the threat of the 2019-novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease (2019-nCoV ARD) in the Philippines, saying his administration has never been in the business of keeping information from the public.

KNG21 President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers a speech during the Annual General Membership Meeting of the Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association Inc. at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City on January 21, 2020. KING RODRIGUEZ/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Duterte made the statement after the second case of the virus in the country was confirmed three days after the first one was reported by the Department of Health (DOH) last week.

READ MORE: PH reports 1st coronavirus death

In a press briefing in Malacañang, Duterte said it was never the intention of the government to keep information about the death of the second patient, saying the DOH only found out he tested positive after he died.

“This government will never hide anything. If it says you’re going to die tomorrow because of this—it is a contagion all over, we will tell you that. If it will cost your life, we will not hide that,” he said Monday evening.

“It’s a reality. Whether you admit it or not, you have to bury the dead. So what is there to hide? It’s not a treasure. It is not something of value to us. It does not contribute to the national wealth. Why should we hide?” he added.

Duterte said the Palace will never hide anything especially from members of the media since it is the job of a journalist to tell the people developments about the situation.

“Why should we hide it from the press when we are supposed to tell the press, you — that go to the world and announce that there is this thing that’s happening and this is what we should be doing,” he said.

The President has assured the public that there was no need for the public to be hysterical, saying the virus will “die a natural death” but appealed to Filipinos to not discriminate the Chinese because of it.

The Department of Health (DOH) said both patients with the 2019-nCoV were partners and were both from Wuhan, China, the said origin of the disease.

READ MORE: DOH confirms 1st case of 2019-nCoV in PH

The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) explained that the sample of the first patient, a Chinese woman, was sent to Melbourne, Australia to confirm if she was positive for the disease. The second patient, on the other hand, was tested by the RITM. He was confirmed to have the virus late Saturday.

READ MORE: China’s virus death toll spikes, more than SARS