“Kapag hindi naayos itong COVID-19, mapurnada talaga tayong lahat. Huwag ninyong madaliin. Sabihin ko sa inyo, think of COVID-19 sa ganitong sitwasyon: Tatakbo ito ng two years,” Duterte said in an address aired early Thursday.
(If the COVID-19 problem is not fixed, we have all failed. Don’t rush it. Let me tell you, think of COVID-19 in this situation: It could run for two years.)
Duterte also said he already saw this pandemic crisis coming. He claimed he was among the first country leaders to place lockdown to fight the spread of coronavirus.
“Ito nakikita ko na noon pa. Itong COVID na ‘to sinsusundan ko talaga. Ako ang pinakaunang lahat naglockdown kasi nasusundan ko na ang storya,” he said.
(I saw this coming long before. I’ve been following this COVID. I’m the first to place a lockdown because I’ve been following the story.)
“Sabi ko nagbabasa naman ako, different sources of knowledge — Facebook, everything, lahat ng what i can get my hands on to study the matter because presidente ako. Dumating nga,” Duterte added.
(I said to myself, I have been reading different sources of knowledge— Facebook, everything, anything that I can get my hands on to study the matter because I am the President. And it came.)
Duterte says COVID-19 could last up to two years
Duterte then emphasized the importance of a vaccine to solve the problem, saying the COVID-19 crisis would not end without it.
“COVID, anong sagot [what’s the answer]? Vaccine. Walang vaccine [no vaccine]? COVID stays,” he said.
The President placed the entire Luzon under enhanced community quarantine originally for one month, from March 14 to April 14. However, with the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the country, the government decided early this week to extend the lockdown until April 30.
The ultimate goal of the ECQ is to minimize people’s movement to prevent the spread of the virus. To do this, the government imposed the following: suspension of classes, prohibiting mass gatherings, social distancing, and suspension of land, domestic air, and domestic sea travel to and from Luzon.
As of April 8, the Philippines has 3,870 confirmed cases, 182 deaths, and 93 recoveries.