Rodrigo Duterte, Philippine’s President 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.
Duterte in a televised address claimed it was vital that everyone cooperates and follows home quarantine measures, as authorities try to slow the contagion and spare the country’s fragile health system from being overwhelmed.
His comments came after media reports of a disturbance and several arrests on Wednesday of residents in a poor area of Manila who were protesting about sufficient government food aid.
Duterte said, “It is getting worse. So once again I’m telling you the seriousness of the problem and that you must listen. 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.”
The Philippines has recorded 96 coronavirus deaths and 2,311 confirmed cases, all but three in the past three weeks, with infections now being reported in the hundreds every day.