Rodrigo Duterte, Philippines leader, ordered to extend a state of calamity in the entire country by a year. That gap should allow the Cabinet to draw emergency funds faster to fight the epidemic and harness the police and military to guarantee law and order.
President Duterte is known for his extraordinary decisions, has announced that the nation will live under the state of calamity by a year. Commenting on his decision, the top country’s official reminded that Duterte first placed the country under a special state in March when the coronavirus caused about a dozen deaths.
The state of calamity in place until September 2021 will be used mainly to draw emergency funds to send anywhere in the country. Officials can also control the prices of basic commodities like rice and cooking oil under such law. Quarantine restrictions such as social distancing remain.
As WA Today has learned, there have now been more than 290,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, the highest in south-east Asia, with nearly 5000 deaths.
In his recent televised address, Rodrigo Duterte has even accused his administration of not doing enough to contain the outbreak. “What ‘enough’ do you want? There are hospitals, beds and funeral parlous. Everything is there,” the tough-talking leader lashed anew at critics, referring to Vice-President Leni Robredo, who leads the opposition.
“You know Leni, if you want, if you really want to do away with COVID, let’s spray the Philippines or Manila over with pesticide to kill all … The only thing that we can do, really, is to wear a mask, wear a face mask, and that’s it and wait for the vaccine,” Duterte said.
With this in mind, Duterte also said a ban on the deployment of Filipino nurses, doctors and other health workers with work contracts abroad has been lifted. So far, the Philippines is a leading source of global labour, including medical personnel.
The Philippines wear a face mask, wait for the vaccine
Meantime, other Asian countries continue to report the new cases of the novel virus. On Tuesday, South Korea has added 61 additional COVID-19 cases, its lowest daily virus tally since mid-August amid a downward trend in fresh infections.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said the additional figures took the country’s total to 23,106 with 388 deaths. In other words, it’s the third day in a row that South Korea’s daily virus tally has stayed below 100.
The nation had seen an uptick in new infections, mostly in the greater Seoul area, since early last month, before its caseload recently began slowing under stringent physical distancing rules.