News Release

President Duterte renews call for unity to contain coronavirus

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte holds a meeting with members of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on June 15, 2020. SIMEON CELI JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte made a renewed call for national unity Monday night as he extended the general community quarantine (GCQ) in Metro Manila and many other areas saying that while the government relaxes the restrictions, the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) remains a threat.

“Bear in mind that you have a part in our collective effort to prevail against the pandemic. Magkaisa talaga tayo dito,” President Duterte said in a televised address.

“The only way to fight COVID is vaccine or iyong maybe ‘yung miracle pill that would kill just as an antibiotic would kill a bacteria. But itong virus cannot be killed by antibiotic. Katawan mo talaga ang mag-produce ng antibodies.”

The government is gradually easing restrictions to make way for the country’s economic viability but it does not mean that the public should ignore minimum health standards, he said.

He advised the people to always follow health guidelines such as physical distancing and frequent hand washing.

Meanwhile, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said Metro Manila mayors as well as the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) agreed for the stricter implementation of barangay lockdowns to halt the spread of COVID-19.

Metro Manila, Año said, has posted new positive cases and the President’s GCQ extension will be an opportunity for authorities to strictly implement the restriction.

The government is also looking at Cebu because of the continuous increase in the number of infected individuals.

“At ang ating atensyon na binibigyan ngayon ay ang Cebu City, ang Talisay, sapagkat nagkaroon talaga ng spike. At iniisip ko na magdagdag pa ng mga additional na kapulisan dito sa Cebu City para siguradong maipatupad ang ECQ,” Año said.

Authorities reported that there were 25,930 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country. A total of 5,054 individuals recovered from the disease while there were 1,088 fatalities. PND