Duterte tells Filipinos: ‘Let us persevere amid coronavirus pandemic’

President Rodrigo Duterte has made a renewed appeal for public patience on July 21, 2020, as his administration works hard to halt the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and as the world awaits a vaccine.

“In the meantime, ang importante talaga dito is your perseverance. That’s the word. You must persevere during this time. Simplehin ko, patience. Tutal dadating rin ‘yan,” he told the nation in a public address. “Marunong ang Diyos. Alam niya hindi tayo niya pababayaan especially Pilipinas kasi Kristiyanos tayo.”

The President said the government is doing its best with the help of many dedicated government officials.

The President has expressed optimism that a vaccine for COVID-19 could be developed by the end of the year as many countries race to come up with such a vaccine.

“Sa Russia, binitawan na nila. I’m sure China has already won, ang Amerika… Ang takot ko lang nga noon kasi nga mahirap tayo, and we need so many millions also. As a matter of fact, I would need about 110 million para mapainom ko sa lahat,” he said.

“Para sa mga plano natin, put it something like hanggang towards the end of the year. But if there is a thing that develops which is really good for you, mauna ako — mag-utang ako. Magpabili ako kung saan magpabili ng lupa para ipagbili ko ng — ibili ko ng medisina.”

And while countries wait for a vaccine, he said people must strictly follow health protocols such as mask-wearing and observance of physical distancing.

He said the government is ready to provide people with masks especially those who don’t have the capability to spend for face covering.

“Kung wala kayo, I will try to buy as many as I can afford kung kaya ko, ibigay namin iyan sa inyo libre but wear it,” he said.

The country has posted 76,444 confirmed COVID-19 cases on July 24, barely two weeks before the month of July ends. On July 24, 2020, the Department of Health (DOH) reported an additional 2,103 coronavirus-infected patients.