Duterte appeals to communist rebels for a ceasefire
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday appealed for a ceasefire with the communist rebels as the country scrambled to prevent the spread of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“Don’t touch the soldiers in the meantime. Let’s have a ceasefire. I’m asking you,” Duterte, speaking in Filipino said in a speech.
The President made the call as he placed the whole of Luzon under an enhanced community quarantine.
“Kindly give me that — if you really want that we will be at all times on talking terms in this time of crisis,” he added.
Under the enhanced community quarantine — which will take in effect until April 13 — there will be strict implementation of home confinement, suspended transportation lines, regulated provisions for food and essential health services, and heightened presence of uniformed personnel to enforce isolation procedures.
All establishments offering basic necessities will be allowed to operate, Duterte said.
Health officials have so far recorded 142 cases, including 12 fatalities, related to COVID-19, a respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus that first emerged in Wuhan City in China’s Hubei province in late 2019.
The Philippines is currently under a state of public health emergency due to the virus.
The government has upgraded its alert on COVID-19 from Code Red Sublevel 1 to Code Red Sublevel 2, which is hoisted when there is evidence of community transmission and prevalence of cases beyond what the government can address.
Most people who have COVID-19 could recover since the symptoms are mild. like fever and cough. But the illness could be worse or serious for others and possibly lead to pneumonia, especially for older adults and those with existing health problems.
The World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 a pandemic since it has already infected more than 160,000 people and killed over 6,000 in over 140 countries all over the world.
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