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. 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.
In a televised address, Duterte said 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 from being overwhelmed. “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”,Rodrigo Duterte President of the Philippines. “Is that understood? Instead of causing trouble, I will bury you.” He insisted.
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.They also follow outrage among the medical community about social stigma and instances of hospital workers suffering physical abuse and discrimination, which Duterte said must be stopped.
Activists deride Duterte over his fierce rhetoric and accuse him of inviting violence and vigilantism, as shown in his war on drugs, during which police and mystery gunmen have killed thousands of people accused of using or selling drugs.
The national police chief on Thursday said police understood that Duterte was demonstrating his seriousness about public order, and no one would be shot.
In Kenya already 122 cases have been announced by the government. President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced a curfew to suppress the spread of the epidemic. He has rallied all Kenyans to support his efforts to flatten the curve. So far four coronavirus infected patients have passed on.