Duterte to lift lockdown once COVID-19 vaccine is found
The enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila and other at-risk regions will be lifted once a working vaccine is developed, according to President Rodrigo Duterte.
“I am telling you: The moment this vaccine is out, I will lift it (ECQ) immediately. No need for ceremony. You don’t need to wait as long as there’s a vaccine,” Mr. Duterte said in a taped address that aired on Friday.
The President also upped the ante in the hunt for a Philippine-made coronavirus vaccine by raising the promised reward from P10 million to P50 million—and possibly to as much as P100 million “if I am overjoyed.”
The President said Filipino scientists were just as learned as American and European researchers.
“Filipinos know what they know, too, so it’s a race,” Mr. Duterte said.
The President also pledged additional funding for the scientists working on a vaccine for COVID-19.
At one point during the broadcast, he turned to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III to ask if Filipino scientists needed funding.
Duque said the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, whose scientists were researching vaccines, had funds.
“But I’m not sure if this particular vaccine that they are developing is specifically for COVID-19,” he added.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.