In public message: Duterte asks people to be calm, vigilant; cooperate with gov't vs COVID-19
President Rodrigo Duterte has urged the public to remain calm and to trust the government as the country also faces the threat of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
"I call on our people to remain calm, vigilant, responsible and I also ask your trust and cooperation, support as we face the challenge," Duterte said in a taped message released on Thursday.
Duterte said he understands that many of the Filipinos are worried about the world health and well being of their loved ones.
"It is normal to feel anxious, concerned and even afraid," he said.
But he said the people should be cautious and to listen only the information coming from the World Health Organization.
"Don't listen to hearsay. You should focus on the government. The truth will come from the government and not from the people who are sowing fears to others," Duterte said.
So far, he noted that in the country, there are three confirmed cases of COVD-19 infection and none of them is a Filipino national.
He also said that there is no evidence yet of local community transmission in the Philippines.
"The government, together with the World Health Organization, medical societies and partners in private sectors is addressing the challenge and preparing for any eventuality," Duterte said.
As to the 32 Filipinos who were repatriated last Sunday from Wuhan, the epicenter of coronavirus outbreak, in Hubei, China, he said the government is taking care of them while they are in quarantine in the state-owned property in Capas, Tarlac.
Duterte also assured other Filipinos who remain lockdown in China that the government is ready to bring them home if they want.
Reiterating the call of the WHO and the Department of Health (DOH), he asked people to be clean, wash their hands frequently, cover their mouth when they sneeze, or to wear a mask if they have cough and colds so the virus will not spread.
As of noon Wednesday, there were 238 patients under investigation for COVID-19 admitted in various health facilities in the country, while 165 PUIs (persons under investigation) have been discharged, according to DOH. Celerina Monte/DMS