Duterte admits fear of death from COVID-19

Published May 4, 2021, 9:05 AM

by Raymund Antonio

President Duterte himself is afraid that he won’t last if he got infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), warning “hardheaded” Filipinos to stay at home amid the surge of cases.

President Rodrigo Duterte (Malacañang photo)

“Alam mo hindi ito biro. ‘Pag tinamaan ka ng COVID, it’s kamatayan. Usually madalas diyan two days patay. Karamihan iyong mga severe cases. Iyong iba nililibre pero ‘yong namatay, two days tapos (You know, this is not a joke. When COVID hits you, it’s death. Usually, you’re dead in two days. Most of the severe cases. Others survive but those who died, they’re finished in two days),” he said in a televised public address on Monday night, May 3.

The Chief Executive admitted even he is afraid for himself because of his old age.

Prior to his remarks, the 76-year-old leader finally got his first shot of the Sinopharm vaccine. His vaccination was made possible due to the compassionate use permit for given to the Presidential Security Group hospital by the Food and Drug Administration.

“’Pag ako ang tinamaan, there’s no way sa katanda ko (When that hits me, there’s no way in my age), there’s no way of telling whether I would live to see the light of day the following day,” he said.

“Hindi ko kayo tinatakot. Sinasabihan ko kayo gamitin ninyo utak ninyo. Delikado ang pandemya. It’s not a — hindi laro ito o sakit-sakitan. Pagka tinamaan ka nito, wala na (I’m not trying to scare you. I’m telling you to use your heads. The pandemic is dangerous. It’s not a — it’s not a game. If you get this, it’s over).”

On February 3 last year, the President allayed public fears of the novel coronavirus.

“Let’s start with narratives by saying that everything is well in the country, that there’s nothing really to be extra scared of the coronavirus thing,” he had said.

Back then, the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed that it’s investigating 80 possible cases of COVID-19. Duterte questioned the “hysterical” response of the public as he also blocked suggestions to impose a travel ban from China, where the virus originated.

Today, he described the SARS-CoV-2 virus as “very lethal,” and worse than getting the rabies.

“Mabuti pa ang rabies (The rabies is even less threatening). You have about 14 days of or so acting like a mad dog. Pero ito dalawang…Kaya pati ako takot (But this one, you have just two… that’s why I’m also afraid),” he said.

But the World Health Organization (WHO) said that once clinical symptoms appear, rabies is virtually 100 percent fatal. COVID-19 has a 2 percent to 3 percent mortality rate worldwide.

On Monday, May 3, the DOH recorded 7,255 new COVID-19 cases with 69,466 active cases and 94 new deaths.