Duterte to Pinoys: Don’t take COVID-19 lightly, my friend died from it
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has reminded Filipinos not to take the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) lightly as one of his friends died from it after he did not take the virus seriously.
Duterte during his pre-recorded briefing on Monday said that his friend, who also hails from Davao City, was a known biker who touring the country several times. He said his friend contracted COVID-19. His friend’s wife was also later infected.
The couple later died separately — without them knowing of the other’s death.
“‘Yong lalaki na-COVID, ‘yong biker. So the penchant of a person to procrastinate, procrastinate is putting it off to another day what should be done today, bukas na lang, maghanap ako ng panahon. Ganon ang nangyari. So he got infected, and dinala siya sa hospital, I think as usual parang na-coma,” Duterte said.
(The biker got COVID, so there is the penchant of the person to procrastinate, or putting it off to another day what should be done today, saying maybe some other time. That’s what happened. So he got infected, was brought to the hospital, and I think as usual he went into a coma.)
“Ang problema yung asawa niya two days after also got the COVID, so dinala rin sa hospital. Ang asawa niya na huli na na-infected, died. Siya doon sa ICU, one day after, also died. ‘Yong silang mag-asawa, both of them did not know of the death of the either, namatay si hindi nila alam,” he added.
(The problem is that his wife also got COVID two days after, so she was brought to the hospital. His wife, who was last infected, died. He, while in the ICU, one day after, also died. The couple, both of them did not know of the death of either.)
Duterte stressed that people should follow health protocols and minimum health standards especially amid the Christmas season, where families may still gather despite government warnings discouraging reunions and gatherings.
“So sinasabi ko ito para rin malaman ng mga bikers sa buong Pilipinas, a lesson to be […] well, lessons in life along the way. So wag kayong magkumpiyansa, sinabi ko this is a very lethal thing. Ako nga wala akong masiguro I can never say that I am safe,” he added.
(The reason why I am saying this is for the bikers of the Philippines to know this, a lesson for people along the way. So do not be complacent, because this is a very lethal thing. Even I cannot assure myself, I can never say that I am safe.)
Previously, health experts from both the government and the private sector warned of a possible surge in COVID-19 cases if people insist on traveling and conducting holiday parties despite the ongoing pandemic.
Duterte said that it is fine to follow Christmas traditions but stressed that people should also follow health protocols such as wearing masks and maintaining proper hygiene.
“Sundin lang natin ‘yong culture, but there are rules to be followed […] please continue to obey the protocol, at saka itong ano, the mask,” he noted.
As early as November 24, the Department of Health (DOH) warned of a possible uptick in COVID-19 cases after the holidays, while the research group OCTA Research said that it has already noted a slight rise in infections.
As of Wednesday, the country has a total of 24,873 active COVID-19 cases with the DOH reporting 1,156 new infections. All in all, there are now 452,988 COVID-19 cases in the country, including recovered patients and those who died of it.
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