'Everything is well': Duterte downplays nCoV threat

Published February 3, 2020, 3:17 PM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Argyll Geducos

President Duterte said there was no need for the public to be hysterical about the confirmed cases of the dreaded 2019-novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease (2019-nCoV ARD) in the country, expressing his belief that there is always a solution to any problem.

President Rodrigo Duterte  (ALI VICOY / MANILA BULLETIN)
President Rodrigo Duterte

In a press briefing after an emergency meeting to discuss recent developments regarding the virus, President Duterte said having two confirmed cases was not something that should alarm the public.

“Everything is well in the country. There’s nothing really to be extra scared of that coronavirus thing. Although it has affected a lot of countries–but, you know, one or two in a country is not really that fearsome,” he said Monday evening.

Duterte noted how the virus scared people all over the world. He said there was no need for people to panic about it.

“This coronavirus is scaring people all over. The response of the people from the initial reports of the coronavirus was almost hysterical when there was really no need for it, actually,” he said.

“If there is really a virus going around, why do you have to be hysterical? Why don’t you just go to the hospital and have yourself treated?”

The President then expressed his confidence that the Philippines will overcome the threat of the virus, saying it will eventually “die on its own.”

“Tayo ang most resilient. Palagay ko hindi aabot dito ‘yan (We are the most resilient. I believe it will not spread here),” Duterte said.

“Keep faith with humanity. Do not fear a pandemic. SARS also disappeared suddenly. It has a life-span and it loses steam because people over time also acquire immunity.

“Kagaya ng (Just like) SARS, I assure you, even without vaccines, it will just die a natural death.”

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a viral respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus. It was first reported in Asia in February 2003 and spread to more than two dozen countries in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia before the global outbreak was contained.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have not been any known cases of SARS reported anywhere in the world since 2004.

It was reported that the number of deaths caused by the 2019-nCoV ARD on Mainland China had risen to 362, exceeding the 349 deaths on the mainland caused by SARS.

The Department of Health confirmed last week that a Chinese woman from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the virus, was being treated for nCoV in Manila. Her partner, however, died two days later because of the virus.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported Monday that there have been more than 17,000 confirmed cases of the virus. The vast majority of the cases are from China. The outbreak has also resulted in the death of 362 people, all of them coming from China except one death that happened on Saturday in the Philippines.