President Duterte warns of ‘next waves’ of COVID-19 infections

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President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night reiterated the need for physical distancing to prevent successive waves of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The President said that all the confirmed COVID-19 cases now is the first wave of infections.

But they will eventually be followed by the second and third waves composed of people who are yet to develop or only developing symptoms now.

“Ganoon ang epidemic. Habang namamatay ‘yung unang tinamaan, ‘yung iba nahawa lang, bago lang, sila ang second wave,” Duterte said during the weekly address of the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon.

“There seems to be lack of uniformity in the matter of enforcing the distance rule, ‘yung social distancing,” Duterte said

“Alam mo ‘pag hindi natin ito isusunod, walang mangyayari. Wala talagang mangyayari (You know if you don’t follow, nothing will happen. Nothing will really happen.),” Duterte also said.

Duterte said the physical distancing currently being implemented in the country will help lessen the number of cases in the successive waves of COVID-19 infections.

“Yung nasa ospital, ‘yung ginagamot ngayon, ‘yun yung first wave. May second wave ito. ‘Yung mga tao na kakahawa lang o noon sipon pa lang, tapos ginagamot na itong nauna, ‘yung iba namatay, ‘yung iba lumusot, ‘yung iba hindi pa masyado, ‘yan ang second wave. Kung naubos na ‘yan, mayroon pang third wave (Those in the hospitals, those being treated, that’s the first wave. There is a second wave. Those people who got infected, or those who only have colds, some of them died, some are still being treated, that’s the second wave. Once they all get well, there will still be a third wave.),” said the President.

“Habang namamatay ‘yung unang tinamaan, sa ospital, sa bahay, ‘yung iba na nahawa lang, bago lang, ‘yun yung sila ang second wave. Tapos ‘yung third wave ang panghuli, pero paliit na ‘yan (Once the first cases die in hospitals or at home, there are others who get infected. That’s the second wave. There will be a third wave, but there will only be few cases.),” he said.

Duterte said this is the reason why physical distancing is important.

“Yan ang ibig sabihin kung bakit kayo i-maintain ninyo ang social distancing or the distant rule (This is why you should observe social distancing.),” Duterte also said.

Duterte also reminded local government executives to strictly implement physical distancing.

“Kayong mga mayors, huwag kayong maglaro. Kasi kung ayaw ninyo mag-social distancing, mapipilitan ako na puntahan kayo at arestuhin ka (You mayors, don’t fool around. If you don’t want to implement social distancing, I will be forced to go to you and arrest you.),” he said.

Duterte compared the first wave of cases to a ripe mango.

He said that the second wave was like mangoes soon to ripen.

He likened the third wave of cases to mangoes still green in color.

The Philippines as of Monday confirmed 4,932 cases of the disease, with 315 deaths and 242 patients who recovered.

Luzon, with an estimated 100-million population, are under quarantine until April 30 to stop the pandemic./Stacy Ang

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