President Duterte recognized that the country’s battle against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is far from over with the still-rising number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines.
Duterte made the statement as the country scrambles to meet the demands of the people amid the spike in coronavirus infections.
In his second “Talk to the People” this week, President Duterte reminded the public that the world is engaging an unseen enemy in a fight that is not ending anytime soon.
“You know we are facing an enemy that cannot be seen. We are facing an opponent where there is no sight at end,” Duterte said in his pre-recorded public address on Thursday evening.
“We are facing a turmoil not only in the Philippines but in the entire world. Kagaya ng mga (like) Brazil, thickly populated areas, they are scared of the third wave,” he added.
On Thursday, the Philippines logged 11,681 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of infections to 864,868.
In his address, Duterte said the government was not remiss in addressing the pandemic.
“I’d like to just disabuse the mind of na nagkulang tayo… Hindi tayo nagkulang (that we were lacking. We were not),” he said.
The President said that after the World Health Organization (WHO) issued its advisory about the virus, he formed the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases within 48 hours.
He added that his decisions to impose lockdowns were also made following the recommendations of medical experts including Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.
“Kung ano’ng sabihin ni Secretary Duque, eh ‘yon ang susundin ko. Siya ‘yong Secretary of Health, eh (I will follow whatever Secretary Duque says because he is the Secretary of Health),” he said.
Duterte reiterated that had also made a melodramatic warning about the pandemic and that it could only be resolved through a vaccine but with the worldwide shortage, the fight against COVID-19 became more uncertain.
“Now, when will we have that stocks sufficient to vaccinate the people? I really do not know. Nobody knows,” he said.
So far, the Philippines has vaccinated at least one million Filipinos.