No joke: Duterte says on suggestion to use ‘gaas’ as disinfectant
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte said his suggestion to use gaas (kerosene) as a disinfectant against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was not a joke.
“Totoo ‘yang sinabi ko. Alcohol, ‘pag walang alcohol na available magpunta ka lang diyan sa gasoline station pagkatapos mag ano magpatulo ka. That’s disinfectant. Alcohol, gaas,” Duterte said in a taped speech aired Friday morning.
“Magpatulo ka lang ng ano just to disinfect. Ang akala nitong mga buang na nagsabi sa akin si Duterte…Para sa inyo, sa hindi nakakaintindi, sa totoo lang hindi ako nagbibiro. Totohanan ‘yun. akala ninyo nagbibiro lang ako. Pero sa totoo hindi ako nagbibiro,: he added.
In a speech last week, Duterte claimed that face masks may be reused and gasoline and diesel may be used as a cheaper alternative for disinfectants.
“‘Yung wala, ibabad mo sa gasolina o diesel. Putang inang COVID na ‘yan, ‘di uubra ‘yan diyan. Totoo, if you want disinfection, maghanap ka ng gasolina. Babad mo ‘yung kamay mo. Layo mo lang, huwag sa loob ng bahay ‘nyo,” said Duterte during a meeting with coronavirus task force officials.
But the Department of Health (DOH) and Malacañang said that the President was only joking when he made the remarks.
“Kayo naman apat na taon na si Presidente, parang hindi niyo pa kilala si Presidente. Joke only! Bakit naman tayo maghuhugas ng gasolina,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a recent press briefing.
Although it did not categorically say whether the President’s remarks are backed by science, the DOH said Duterte’s advice maybe just one of his jokes.
“Alam niyo naman kapag nagsasalita si Presidente baka mga jokes niya lang ‘yun especially for gasoline,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.
According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry of the United States, gasoline is “a mild skin, eye, and respiratory tract irritant.”
Ingestion of gasoline causes mild to severe irritation to the gastrointestinal mucosa or the mucous membrane layer of the stomach, it also warned.
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