MANILA — As the Philippines' COVID-19 cases hit new records, President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday noted that local deaths due to the respiratory disease were lower compared to other countries.
"Hirap ang America ngayon. Ang Europe is suffering from a—maraming mas namatay; Turkey, marami ang patay; Saudi Arabia, mas marami ang patay," he said around an hour into his taped speech that aired on Tuesday.
(America is suffering. Europe is suffering from a—more died; many died in Turkey; more died in Saudi Arabia.)
"Ito, atin, hawa lang. Ang patay natin, hindi masyado ganoon karami," the President said.
(With us, it's just infection. Our deaths are not that many.)
At least 33,333 people in the Philippines have succumbed to COVID-19 as of Monday, according to the health department.
The Philippines on Monday confirmed its highest ever single-day tally of new cases at 22,366, which raised to total confirmed infections to about 1.97 million.
Duterte acknowledged authorities "need to recalibrate our response" whether or not the spike in COVID-19 cases was due to the highly infectious variant of the disease.
"We are also evaluating whether granular or localized lockdowns would work best in our current situation. Kailangan pag-aralan ito ng task force," he said.
(The task force needs to study this.)
In the meantime, Metro Manila and 15 other areas will remain under the second strictest of 4 lockdown levels until Sept. 7, the task force earlier said.
Duterte urged the public to stick to health standards and get vaccinated against the novel coronavirus at the soonest.
The Duterte administration is facing a Senate inquiry into how it spend pandemic funds.
The country had "nothing" in supplies when the pandemic erupted, said the President.
"The same people criticizing today are the same people telling us last year that we were too slow and we’re not prepared," he said of the probe.
"Sino bang prepared, preparado nito? America? Name a country that is prepared, mag-resign ako," he added.
(Who is prepared here? America? Name a country that is prepared, I will resign.)
Video courtesy of PTV