By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
President Duterte has urged the public to remain calm and vigilant as the government works on containing the spread of the dreaded coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in the Philippines.
In a taped message, the President assured that the government was working closely with other medical organizations and stakeholders to prevent the spread of the disease.
“Today, we face a very grave threat, the novel coronavirus disease 2019 or Covid-19. As of now, there are only three confirmed cases of Covid-19 infection. None of those infected is a Filipino national. There is no evidence yet of local community transmission here in our country,” he said.
“The government, together with the World Health Organization (WHO), medical societies, and partners in private sectors, is addressing the challenge and preparing for any eventuality,” he added.
“I call on our people to remain calm, vigilant, responsible, and I also ask your trust, cooperation, and support as we face the challenge. Tayo ay magkaisa (Let us be united). Together as one nation, this challenge can be overcome,” he added
The President assured Filipinos that their loved ones in locked-down areas abroad will be repatriated if they wish to. On Sunday, the government brought home 30 Filipinos from the affected areas in China, particularly in Wuhan, the said origin of the virus.
“The government is taking care of them while they are in quarantine,” Duterte said.
“To our kababayans who remain in lockdown areas in China, I assure you that the government is ready to bring you home if you want. Hindi namin kayo papabayaan (We will not neglect you),” he added.
“I understand many of you are worried about the health and wellbeing of your loved ones. It is normal to feel anxious, concerned, and even afraid,” he continued.
The President reminded the public to observe precautionary measures to avoid getting infected with the Covid-19 like washing their hands frequently, covering their mouths when coughing, or by using facemasks.
He enjoined the public to not believe everything they see about the disease online.
“Maging maingat at yung mga impormasyon na importante na manggaling sa WHO, ay ating pakinggan. At huwag makinig diyan sa mga haka-haka (Be very vigilant and only listen to the information given by the WHO. Don’t believe in hearsay),” he said.
“Sa gobyerno kayo nakatutok. Nandiyan ang totoo sa gobyerno, wala diyan sa mga taong haka-haka na wala namang ginawa kung hindi manakot ng kapwa niya tao (Listen to the government because the truth is with the government. Not with those who only want to sow fear and panic),” he added.