Duterte to lift Luzon-wide quarantine if COVID-19 antibody becomes available
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night said he would lift the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine once an antibody against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) would become available in the market.
“If there’s an available antibody in the market, and when I can see that it is being used, I will lift it. At least, if you get sick, we have antibodies to buy,” Duterte said in Filipino.
The President claimed that a giant pharmaceutical firm, which he refused to name, had already developed an antibody against COVID-19 that might come out in the market by May.
But the problem, according to Duterte, is that the Philippines is on the “last ladder’ of prioritization behind rich countries.
However, the President said the Philippines might be prioritized if China could develop its own antibody.
In mid-March, Duterte placed the entire island of Luzon under a month-long enhanced community quarantine. It was supposed to end on Monday, April 13 but he approved the proposal to extend it until April 30 as the COVID-19 cases in the country continued to rise.
The measure was imposed to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease in the country. It suspended work for the majority of the region’s populace and halted the operations of public transportation.
The President then asked the public to brace themselves for the two more waves of the novel coronavirus.
“That’s how pandemic works. While the first cases die, others get infected They are the second wave. And then there is the third wave, which is the last, but that’s small-scale,” he said.
To date, the Philippines has 4,932 confirmed cases of the respiratory illness, of whom 315 have died while 242 were able to recover.
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