MANILA- The Philippines cannot afford another wave of coronavirus infections, President Rodrigo Duterte said Tuesday as he prepared the public for the looming easing of restrictions.
Duterte, in a taped public address aired Tuesday, urged the public to wear face masks and practice physical distancing as part of the new norm.
"The easing up of the restrictions, hindi iyan sabihin na wala na ang COVID, just because we allow certain people [outside]," he said.
"We cannot afford a second or third wave na mangyari. Ito 'yung mabagong mahawa na naman at dadami na naman dahil nga sa meron tayong rules na hindi sinunod," he added.
(These are the new cases that will pop up because we didn't follow certain rules.)
In the middle of his speech, the President wore a face mask before warning the public not to leave their homes without wearing one.
"Do not go out of your homes without a mask. That is a must. [You] must comply," he said.
The government has made it mandatory for people to wear face masks or any protective gear in public places.
Duterte added that COVID-19 is "very lethal" as he warned the public against risking their lives with getting infected.
"COVID is very lethal, huwag ka talaga magsugal diyan sa COVID," he said.
(Don't gamble with COVID.)
As of Monday, the Philippines has tallied 11,086 infections since its first case was reported on Jan. 30. This includes 726 deaths and 1,999 recoveries.