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Duterte asks Filipinos to pray for protection

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President Rodrigo Duterte asked Filipinos to seek God’s guidance and help, amid the threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

In a televised address to the nation, Duterte stressed that prayer would be everyone’s best weapon to fight Covid-19.

“I solemnly urge everyone to pray to the Almighty God who has the power to defeat every enemy, visible or invisible. Even as we maintain physical distance from each other, let us remain (strongly) united in spirit to fight this dreaded disease. And with our unity and the blessing of God, we shall overcome,” he said.

Duterte on Monday night placed the entire Luzon under “enhanced” community quarantine until April 12, as the number of Covid-19 cases in the country already rose to 142.

Implementing an “enhanced” community quarantine means all households need to observe “strict” home quarantine and their movement should be limited to accessing basic necessities, according to a Palace memorandum signed on Monday.

An “enhanced” community quarantine also imposes regulation on the provision for food and essential health services, and orders heightened presence of uniformed personnel to enforce quarantine procedures.

Mass public transportation is also suspended in Luzon.

Soldiers, policemen, authorized government workers, health workers, and other individuals with other essential services are exempted from the imposition of an “enhanced” community quarantine.

Duterte asked his countrymen to pray for those who are on the frontline to contain the spread of Covid-19.

“Pray for all doctors and health professionals and workers. Pray for your government. Pray for the country,” he said.

‘Real’ danger

Duterte also told Filipinos not to take lightly the Covid-19 outbreak lightly, saying that the virus is no joke.

He warned that the situation in the country is “really dangerous,” considering that the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases continues to rise.

“Sa mga kababayan ko, baka minamaliit ninyo ‘yung problema at contact kayo nang contact and suddenly, sabay-sabay itong puputok (To my fellow countrymen, you might be underestimated the problem and you are still having contact with other people. And suddenly, it will create a problem). Then we will have a problem,” Duterte said.

Duterte also appealed for public understanding, assuring all Filipinos that his administration is exerting all efforts to stop the further spread of Covid-19.

“The problem is there is a crisis. So you have to obey. Remember, this is an emergency. And during an emergency, tumabi kayong lahat (give way) and give it to the people who are responsible for protecting the country, alleviating the suffering and enforcing public order,” he added.

Duterte on Tuesday dawn inspected the checkpoint at the Valenzuela-Meycauayan, Bulacan boundary in MacArthur Highway just hours after the implementation of the "enhanced" community quarantine in Luzon to check the situation on the ground.

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