Duterte sees more COVID-19 deaths, vows to secure vaccines

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 15) — President Rodrigo Duterte expects the deadly coronavirus pandemic to drag on much longer, as he once again blamed the global supply shortage for the slow arrival of vaccines in the country.

In an address to the nation Thursday night, the President gave a grim warning, saying the public should brace for more COVID-19 deaths.

"There is no sufficient supply to inoculate the world. Matagal pa 'to. Sabihin ko sa'yo, marami pang mamamatay dito [This will last a long while. I'm telling you, more lives will be lost to this pandemic]," he said.

The country recorded more than 100 coronavirus deaths daily for the past seven days, totaling nearly 1,500 over the said period. It saw its deadliest day of the pandemic on April 9 with 401 fatalities confirmed. Nationwide, the virus has killed a total of 15,594 people, with the case fatality rate standing at 1.72%.

But even with his warning, the President told Filipinos not to fear, saying his administration is giving its best in the pandemic response.

"Do not be afraid. Government is working. Government is busy doing everything," Duterte said.

"'Yung infrastructure, 'yung organization, andyan na. Araw-araw, may kino-contribute tayo. Kung anong kulang, magdadagdag tayo [The infrastructure and the organization are there. Everyday, we're contributing something. We address whatever is lacking]," he added.

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The country's COVID-19 tally breached 900,000 on Thursday with over 11,000 newly confirmed infections. Of this number, some 183,000 are currently ill patients. The independent research group OCTA earlier projected that the total case count may strike one million before the end of the month.

Official data as of April 13 showed the Philippines has already vaccinated more than 1.2 million people since its COVID-19 inoculation drive started more than a month ago. Most of these are healthcare workers who are first in the priority line. The total number includes 162,000 Filipinos who have already received their second dose.

READ: TIMELINE: COVID-19 vaccine deliveries and rollout in the Philippines