Philippines' President Rodrigo Duterte has recently stepped forward to acknowledge the sacrifice made by the doctors who perished to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, albeit in his trademark fashion, the Daily Mail reports.
in a pre-recorded TV address to the nation earlier this week Duterte said that medical personnel who lose their lives while treating the patients infected with COVID-19 are “lucky” to die in such a fashion.
"There are doctors, nurses, attendants who died. They were the ones who died helping others. They are so lucky. They died for the country. That should be the reason why we die," he said. "It would be an honor to die for your country, I assure you".
The president's remarks, however, have apparently sparked concerns about Duterte "romanticizing" the medics' deaths, the newspaper notes citing local media who claim that the "doctor’s deaths could have been avoided if the government prepared earlier for the outbreak".
Duterte's speech comes after some 12 Filipino doctors reportedly passed away from COVID-19 as of 29 March, with medics complaining about the lack of protective equipment "for those on the front lines".
At this time, about 2,311 people in the Philippines have contracted the coronavirus, with 96 passing away because of it, according to the Johns Hopkins University.