In an unprecedented move to contain the deadly Chinese Coronavirus from spreading further in his country, the Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the police and military to ‘shoot dead’ the lockdown violators.
In a televised address to his citizens, Rodrigo 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”, Duterte was quoted as saying.
The President stressed that physical abuse and discrimination against medical workers in the country was a grave crime that would not be tolerated.
He furthered that it was vital everyone cooperates and follows home quarantine measures, as authorities try to slow the contagion and spare the country’s fragile health system for being overwhelmed.
While many activists criticised Duterte over his fierce rhetoric and accuse him of inciting violence and vigilantism, his office came to his defence calling it a hyperbole. They said that the President’s intention was to stress on people not violating the lockdown.
The Philippines on March 31 (Tuesday) reported 538 new virus cases – the highest daily jump in the number of infections. As on April 3, 13:00 pm, Philippines recorded 2,633 positive Covid-19 cases and 107 deaths.