MANILA, Philippines — “This is a small thing in our lives,” President Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday during his pre-recorded briefing, as he assured Filipinos that they could eventually overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I will just say to my countrymen that do not despair. We can beat this COVID. This is a small thing in our lives,” Duterte said, speaking partly in Filipino.
[Original quote in Filipino. Kaya natin itong COVID na ito. Maliit na bagay ito sa ating buhay.”]
“We have been through a lot of things that are more serious, more difficult, and made us cry more,” he added.
Duterte said this as the Philippines was being threatened by another spike in COVID-19 cases. On Monday alone, health officials recorded a record-high for 2021 of 5,404 new coronavirus cases.
In Metro Manila, 18 of 149 hospitals are already under the critical level in terms of bed capacity for COVID-19 patients.
Monday, March 15, also marks the first year since parts of the Philippines were placed under community quarantine to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.
So far the government has administered 193,492 doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
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