PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte urged the nation to adapt to the “new normal” guidelines as quarantine restrictions are eased gradually to restart the economy.
He said some people will be allowed to go out and work while others will be required to stay at home. Some areas, with a high rate of infection, will remain under lockdown after May 15.
“Ganito ha. For those who would be allowed to go out and work and for those na hindi pa talaga puede, remember na itong pag-...the easing up of the restrictions, hindi ‘yan (ibig) sabihin na wala na ang Covid. Just because we allowed certain people...dahan-dahan lang para walang ano...hindi tayo madapa,” he said in a speech aired Tuesday morning.
“Because we cannot afford...we cannot afford a second or third wave na mangyari,” he said, referring to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) epidemic in the country.
He said the list of people who will be allowed to return to work will be announced by Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.
Those allowed to go out will need to adapt to the “new normal”, such as wearing of face masks at all times and observing social distancing.
“Do not go out of your house without a mask. That is a must, must comply. Tatapikin ka ng pulis, hindi naman huhulihin, pero ‘kakahiya sabihin sa ‘yo, tumabi ka muna, wala kang mask,” Duterte said.
“Kung wala kang mask, you endanger...ipapasubo mo yung kaharap mo. Hindi ikaw. Kung gusto mong mamatay, okay lang. Pero yung kaharap mo, hindi pa n’ya panahon tapos mamatay lang sa ka-...just because you do not want to comply,” he added, shortly after wearing a face mask himself.
The President also stressed the need for social distancing.
“Ito yung new life, until such time na meron nang vaccine. Merong mga medisina, but not vaccine,” he said.
To those who will not be allowed to go out, Duterte urged for compliance as he stressed that the respiratory disease Covid-19 is fatal in its severe form.
The disease, which is caused by the newly discovered novel coronavirus called Sars-CoV-2, has brought economies almost to a standstill. The virus is highly infectious because people who have contracted it pass it on even before the symptoms appear.
“Ngayon, kung wala ka naman talagang gawin, Covid is very lethal. Huwag ka talagang magsugal d’yan sa Covid kasi pag tinamaan ka, it can go either way. Punta ka sa punerarya o matulog ka sa bahay ninyo,” Duterte said.
Emphasizing the threat posed by Covid-19, Duterte noted how family members could not hug an infected person even after death.
He also noted that funeral parlors refuse to cremate the remains of an infected person.
Duterte said the “new normal” guidelines being imposed by the government are precautionary measures intended to protect the people.
“Simple man lang ang hinihingi ng gobyerno. Kung wala ka mang negosyo, lalo na’ng mga anak ninyo, walang klase...wala, hindi pa ako nag-aannounce ng ano...do not believe in that..may..sa June,” he said.
The President said the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases still has to decide on the resumption of classes.
Classes were suspended in mid-March after coronavirus infections started to increase in the country. The Department of Education earlier announced that school year 2020-2021 will start on August 24, 2020, not in June.
Covid-19 cases in the country have been increasing at a steady rate. As of May 11, the Department of Health said there were a total of 11,086 cases, including 726 deaths and 1,999 patients who have recovered.
Globally, the virus has killed 278,892 and infected more than four million people as of May 11, according to the World Health Organization. (MVI/SunStar Philippines)