MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday told Filipinos to refrain from believing that hospitals can accommodate them "at just anytime", as the country continued to battle with a record-breaking surge in COVID-19 cases.
The Philippines' tally of COVID-19 cases topped the 1 million mark earlier this week, which Duterte said, “does not really surprise me.”
“Ngayon nakita ko, violation dito, violation doon; sakit dito, sakit doon. Anak ka ng—wala tayong pera,” he said in a taped public address.
“Do not ever think that we can accommodate you at just anytime. If you look on TV and sa mga news, hindi nga makapasok [sa ospital], naghihintay nga sa mga kotse… hanggang mabigyan sila ng kama.”
(I see violation here, violation there; sickness here, sickness there. Son of a—we do not have money. Do not ever think that we can accommodate you at just anytime. If you look on TV and the news, some cannot even enter the hospital, they wait in cars, until they are given a bed.)
Intensive care capacity in Metro Manila is at the moderate risk level, with about 62 percent of beds utilized, according to health officials.
The region and several areas remain under the second strictest lockdown level to arrest the uptick in coronavirus infections.
“Ang kama, depende ‘yan sa mabakante, kung marami ang mamatay lahat, maraming kama kung gusto ninyo,” said Duterte.
“Hindi naman talaga lahat may gusto, maraming ayaw na magka-COVID, namatay. Wala na tayo magawa. Suwerte na natin ‘yan,” he added.
(The depend depends on if it will be freed up, if many die, there will be a lot of beds if you want. Not everyone wants it, many do not want to catch COVID, but die. We cannot do anything. That's our luck.)
The Philippines, which has the second-highest COVID-19 cases and deaths in Southeast Asia, reported 6,895 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday, pushing its total tally of cases to 1,020,495.
Active cases in the country hit 67,769, while deaths reached 17,031, according to the health department.