By Genalyn Kabiling
Brazil is facing a coronavirus calamity and President Duterte apparently saw it coming.
The President bared Monday night that he made a “prophetic statement” on the surge of coronavirus cases in Brazil in the early days of the outbreak.
Addressing the nation Monday night, the President claimed that he anticipated that the Latin American country might suffer many cases due to its densely populated slum areas, which are similar to the Philippines.
Brazil rapidly became the epicenter of the coronavirus in latin America and the country with the second highest coronavirus cases worldwide, behind only the United States. It has already recorded more than 43,000 deaths and more than 888,000 confirmed cases based on the global count by Johns Hopkins University.
“Marami pang namamatay by the thousands sa Brazil. Ako sinabi ko na eh kasi napunta ako ng Brazil. Maraming tao talaga doon, dikit-dikit (Many are dying by the thousands in Brazil. I already said, because I’ve visited Brazil before, there are many people there, it is densely populated),” Duterte said.
“Sabi ko noon, pag-umpisa pa lang, ‘pag umabot ito ng South America, ang Brazil ang sinabi ko delikado ‘to. Dumating nga. It was a prophetic statement but I know that I was there. Iyong slum areas nila kagaya rin sa atin (I said at the start, if this reaches South American, Brazil, I said, will be in danger. It happened. It was a prophetic statement but I know because I was once there. Their slum areas are similar to ours),” he said.
In the country, the President cited his appreciation for Filipinos who observe the health precautions to help stem the spread of the new coronavirus disease. The health protocols vigorously promoted by the government include frequent hand washing and safe distancing.
“Ang mabuti na siguro dito kasi naniniwala kayo sa inyong gobyerno. Well, if not really, sa personally ayaw ako ninyo, just listen to our advice because that is intended for everybody at para sa kapakanan ninyo ‘yan (The good thing probably is because you believe your government. Even if you don’t personally like me, just listen to our advice because that is intended for everybody and it is for your welfare),” he said.
As of June 15, the cases of coronavirus in the country have soared to 26,420. The recoveries increased to 6,252 while the death toll reached 1,098.
Duterte said people who defy the quarantine protocols and become infected should not blame the government for their situation. He said the government has repeatedly warned of the dangers of getting infection if certain health protocols are not observed.
“Ngayon, kung lumabas talaga kayo, you run the risk of getting infected. Huwag ninyo kaming sisihin (Now if you go out, you run the risk of getting infected. Do not blame us),” he said.
After more than two months of strict lockdown, the government recently gradually relaxed the quarantine restrictions in some parts of the country in a bid to open more businesses and revive the stalled economy. Minimum health standards however must still be observed at all times to curb the outbreak.