Duterte tells COVID-19 patients: I hope you don’t die until vaccine is available
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte asked people infected with the latest coronavirus strain to try not to die until a vaccine or an antibody is available, which he said might come by January.
In his late Monday night briefing about the government’s COVID-19 response, Duterte said that a pharmaceutical company was already in the process of creating a vaccine against the disease
So he urged COVID-19 patients to reject death and just wait for the vaccine.
“They have done tests showing positive results. They have a vaccine. But the problem is it will be ready, according to them, by 2021, January at the earliest. If that’s the case, I hope you don’t die until January,” Duterte said, speaking partly in Filipino.
“Wait for the vaccine. If if the Grim Reaper calls you, tell him: Son of a bitch, go away, I am waiting for the vaccine. Because there is only one way to eliminate COVID, which is the vaccine, as it can fight off the infection,” he added.
The President was referring to a candidate vaccine developed by the United States National Institute of Health and scientists at the biotechnological company Moderna, which is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
According to reports, Moderna has started the first human trials of the COVID-19 vaccine, although it may take at least 18 months before it is made available.
Previously, Duterte told people not to worry if China should come up with a vaccine, because the country would be at the top of the pecking order.
While the death toll due to COVID-19 in the Philippines appeared to have slowed down, infection rates have seen a steady pace of around 200 more cases every day.
As of Tuesday, the Department of Health has recorded 12,942 COVID-19 cases, 837 of whom have died while 2,843 have recovered.
Worldwide, over 4.812 million persons have been infected, with 318,611 death and 1.792 million recoveries.
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