Philippines losing COVID-19 war, doctors warn Duterte

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Dozens of doctors’ groups on Saturday warned that the Philippines was losing the coronavirus fight, urging President Rodrigo Duterte to tighten a recently eased lockdown as cases surged and hospitals turned away patients.

Eighty medical associations representing tens of thousands of doctors signed the open letter, a day after the country posted a record single-day count of more than 4,000 new infections, pushing the total past 93,000.

An increasing number of health workers have fallen ill or quit their jobs, while some packed hospitals are now refusing to admit new patients, it added.

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In response, Duterte’s spokesman Harry Roque said the government was balancing the health and economy of the nation.

The letter said contact tracing was “failing miserably” and public transport and workplace settings were often unsafe.

President Duterte on Thursday called on Filipinos to keep faith in his ability to swiftly procure a vaccine to be produced by China, a key supporter of his rule.

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