Palace assures Duterte’s decision on COVID-19 response ‘carefully studied’
MANILA, Philippines— Malacañang on Wednesday assured that President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision on addressing the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis will be “carefully studied.”
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque issued the statement as he stressed that the government is seriously taking the remarks of the World Health Organization (WHO) that the worst of COVID-19 is yet to come.
“It is for this reason that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has been in consultation with different experts across different sectors on how to best address the COVID-19 situation in the country,” Roque said in a statement.
“He even set aside politics and met Health Secretaries of previous administrations as he weighs the different options for our people. The decision will be carefully studied as lives of the people and the nation are at stake,” he added.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus earlier warned that “the worst is yet ahead of us” after some countries eased restrictive measures to contain the virus’ spread.
Globally, there are over 2.5 million people infected with the coronavirus, over 175,000 of which have died.
The President on Monday met with several experts, including former secretaries of the Department of Health (DOH), to discuss the government’s next step in curbing COVID-19 in the country.
Roque earlier said no suggestions were made for the government to impose a “total lockdown” or another extension of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine.
Instead, experts have recommended to either retain, relax or lift quarantine measures in areas depending on the number of its COVID-19 cases, Roque said.
The Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine is expected to lapse on April 30.
The Philippines has so far confirmed 6,710 cases of COVID-19 in the country. Of the number, 446 persons have died and 693 persons have recovered.
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