Duterte calls on the public to stop blaming Chinese nationals for 2019-nCoV

Aileen Cerrudo
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte reads a report on the 2019 novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) during a briefing at the Malacañan Palace on February 3, 2020. TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Duterte has called on the public to stop blaming the Chinese people for the spread of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

After the emergency meeting with Cabinet officials and the World Health Organization (WHO) representative, Duterte said the spread of the virus is no one’s fault.

“And this kind of mentioning the Chinese and blaming them, it’s like a xenophobia. You hate anything that is Chinese. It is not good,” he said.

“One is that, we have many Filipinos in China. Second is, even if there are none, you know, we are a community of nations. We cooperate. China has been kind to us. We can only also show the same favor to them,” Duterte added.

The President also assured the public there is nothing to worry about amid the 2019-nCoV threat.

“Everything is well in the country. There is really nothing to be extra scared of that coronavirus thing. Although it has affected a lot of countries, one or two [patients] in any country is not really that fearsome,” he said.

There are two confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV in the Philippines. The Department of Health (DOH) also reported 80 patients under investigation for possible 2019-nCoV.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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