Philippines' Duterte: Coronavirus lockdown violators may be shot
MANILA Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has warned violators of coronavirus lockdown measures they could be shot for causing trouble, and said abuse of medical workers was a serious crime that would not be tolerated.
In a televised address, Mr Duterte said it was vital everyone cooperates and follows home quarantine measures, as the authorities try to slow the contagion and spare the country's fragile health system from being overwhelmed.
The Philippines' Health Ministry yesterday recorded 11 new deaths and 322 new cases from the outbreak. The latest figures bring the total death toll to 107 and infections to 2,633, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said.
"It's getting worse. So once again, I'm telling you the seriousness of the problem and that you must listen," Mr Duterte said on Wednesday.
"My orders to the police and military... if there is trouble and there's an occasion that they fight back and your lives are in danger, shoot them dead. Is that understood? Dead. Instead of causing trouble, I will bury you."
His comments came after media reports of a disturbance and several arrests on Wednesday of residents during protests in a poor area of Manila.
They also follow outrage among the medical community about social stigma and instances of hospital workers suffering physical abuse and discrimination, which Mr Duterte said must be stopped.
The national police chief yesterday said the police understood Mr Duterte was demonstrating his seriousness about public order, and no one would be shot.
Meanwhile, Thailand is introducing a nationwide curfew between 10pm and 4am to try to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the government said in a statement yesterday.
The curfew will have some exceptions, including for the transport of medical supplies, movement of people into quarantine, patients and travel of medical personnel, according to the statement.
Thailand reported 104 new coronavirus cases, bringing its total to 1,875 cases, a spokesman for the government's Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration said yesterday. There were three new deaths in the country, bringing its total fatalities to 15. - REUTERS