Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has raised eyebrows for saying medical staff who lose their lives treating Coronavirus patients are ‘lucky’ to die for their country.
The 75-year-old made the comments on Monday evening in a pre-recorded televised address to the nation.
‘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,’ he added.
His comments sparked concern that the president was romanticizing the deaths of medics due to the virus despite complaints about lack of protective equipment for those on the front lines of the pandemic, Filipino outlet Rappler reported.
According to the Philippine Medical Association, 12 Filipino doctors had passed away from COVID-19 as of Sunday, March 29.
The country recorded 227 new coronavirus cases and eight more deaths on Wednesday, the health ministry said.
The latest figures brought the total number of infections to 2,311, while 96 people have died from the disease.