Mask rule stays until end of my term – Duterte | Inquirer News

Mask rule stays until end of my term – Duterte

/ 03:05 AM April 12, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — Everyone will have to keep wearing masks in public to be protected against COVID-19 until the end of the term of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The president himself stressed this during his weekly taped “Talk to the People” briefing that aired late on Monday.


“I’ll just state my case that there is no way that masks will not be required. It will be a part of the protocol for a long time until the last day of my office. That’s ‘my order and that’s what you will follow,” Duterte said, speaking in a mix of English and Filipino.


He speculated that the reason COVID-19 cases were increasing again was that people had become complacent about wearing masks and following other health protocols.

The Philippines, Duterte said, cannot afford to throw caution out of the window because it cannot endure another surge and another lockdown.

Students wearing face masks. STORY: Mask rule stays until end of my term – Duterte

Wearing disposable face masks, students walk along Velez Street in downtown Cagayan de Oro Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. (File photo by JIGGER J. JERUSALEM / Inquirer Mindanao)

“It was a reckless move to stop urging people to wear masks, and that’s their attitude,” he said. “But we here, I will tell you, we can hardly afford to meet another wave of the pandemic,” he said.

He also reminded people to wash their hands.

His uneasiness about the possibility of a new COVID-19 surge is also part of the reason why vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. would fly to Mindanao — particularly to Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). He would try to convince locals to get vaccinated.

Galvez said in his report that only 20 percent of the target population in the BARMM had been vaccinated.


“Someday — well, that won’t be my problem anymore — but I’m just advising our countrymen that it’s really important [to get vaccinated]. We are not out of the woods actually. We are still in a bind,” Duterte said.

The Philippines had another COVID-19 surge early in January 2022, due to the Omicron variant. But after that month, the COVID-19 cases started to decrease, leading to the lowest Alert Level 1 ever since the COVID-19 pandemic reached the country.

Earlier, the Department of Health (DOH) said that 1,906 new COVID-19 cases were recorded from April 4 to 10 — or an average of 272 new infections per day. DOH said this was 29 percent lower than figures from the previous week.

Aside from that, none of the new cases were considered severe or critical.

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DOH: 1,906 new COVID-19 cases logged from April 4-10

TAGS: Rodrigo Duterte

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