President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday urged the public to wear face masks properly -- with their noses covered -- and follow COVID protocols to guard a surge in coronavirus infections.
Duterte rued how some people's noses are partially exposed, which defeats the purpose of wearing face masks. "It does not give any relief at all kung ganun ka-careless ang taong gumagamit."
"I hope that you would be religious in obeying the instructions na sinasabi ng ating medical persons, simply because we are trying to save our country," he said.
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Duterte said he would be constrained to employ "draconian measures" such as strict stay-at-home orders if people are "dying on the streets." A fresh lockdown will be very for those who subsist from meal-to-meal, Duterte said, referencing the Filipino saying "isang kahig isang tuka."
"We will be able to surmount... but it will kill the economy, we will go back to the non-productivity of the economy," he said, referring to a lockdown.
Current quarantine classifications are due for review and will expire on Jan. 31.
Over the weekend, authorities said the Philippines has a total of 17 cases of the UK COVID variant which is more contagious. There has been no community transmission monitored.