Filipinos may return to normal lives by December — Duterte

Published July 31, 2020, 1:29 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

The Filipino people may return to their normal lives by December amid the imminent world breakthrough on coronavirus treatment, President Duterte declared on Friday.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on July 30, 2020.

In his televised public address, the President said mankind has finally caught up with the coronavirus with the recent progress in clinical studies on potential vaccines and treatments. 

“We are not going back to a new normal. It’s going to be normal again,” Duterte said.

“Ang recover natin is normal na because I said we were able to arrest, not us, but mankind or the Chinese, the Americans, we’re able to catch up with the COVID. So napaiksi ‘yung ating fears at ang ating, lahat na, pagdurusa (Our recovery is going to be normal because I said we were able to arrest, not us, but mankind, or the Chinese, the Americans, we’re able to catch up with COVID. Our fears, all our sufferings will be shortened),” he said.

Duterte mentioned that some pharmaceutical companies in China and the United States have already made advances in their potential medicines to treat coronavirus patients.   He claimed that the companies, including Pfizer and Moderna, are just waiting for the final approval for the distribution of the medicines for the public.

But pending the availability of the coronavirus vaccine, Duterte asked Filipinos to be patient and observe health measures, including the wearing of face masks and safe distancing to limit the spread of the infections in the country.

“Mayroon akong bakuna. Ang hingiin ko sa inyo ganito, magtiis lang kayo nang kaunti dahil nga sa hawaan (I have the vaccine. I ask you to bear with it because there might be infections),” he said.

“I promise you, by the grace of God, I hope by December we will be back to normal,” he added.

Once supplies are available, the government intends to purchase vaccines and distribute them for free to the country’s poorest of the poor, soldiers, policemen, and those from the middle income families, according to the President.

The President talked about the government’s coronavirus vaccine program while he announced the country’s new classification status from August 1 to 15 amid surging cases of infections.

Metro Manila, Cebu City and several areas have been placed under the general community quarantine (GCQ). The less stringent modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) is in effect in the rest of the country.