President Rodrigo Duterte believes God will not forsake the Philippines as it continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“God is knowledgeable. He knows He won’t forsake us, especially the Philippines, because we’re Christians,” Duterte said in a taped public address aired Tuesday morning.
He also appealed to the public to make the “sacrifice” of complying with quarantine protocols, such as physical distancing, wearing face masks and frequent hand-washing.
He said if Jesus Christ could sacrifice himself for the sins of humanity, Filipinos could at least practice “patience” while waiting for a COVID-19 vaccine to be developed.
“Let’s sacrifice a little. Our idol made a sacrifice as well. He was whipped, nailed to the cross. We just hear mass, kneel. So dedicate it to the Lord that you also suffer for the country,” Duterte said.
He reminded the public to “persevere” in these difficult times, when movements are restricted to curb the spread of the virus.
Last April, Duterte sought God's help as he led the nation in its fight against COVID -19.
He said he understood the clamor to completely open the economy to protect people’s livelihoods, but emphasized that he was being held back by scientific data showing a spike in the COVID-19 cases in the country.
“We are all mad. You wanted to open the door. I wanted that, but science is stopping me from doing so,” Duterte said.
He, however, expressed hope that a vaccine would soon be available and vowed to buy dosages immediately even if it needed borrowing money from other countries.
The national government is now urging local governments, the private sector and the public to play a bigger role in containing the spread of the virus by enhancing efforts to test, trace and treat.
Asymptomatic and mild COVID-19 patients are also encouraged to undergo facility-based quarantine instead of self-isolating at home.
As of July 20, there were a total of 68,898 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country, and of which 23,072 were recoveries and 1,835 were deaths.
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