Duterte seeks help of NPA nurses in COVID-19 response

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 7) — President Rodrigo Duterte is asking nurses from the New People's Army to help the government augment medical manpower amid the spike in COVID-19 cases.

“I assure you if you give us in advance a notice that you are going down to participate… the people who are offering their services, tutal magbayad man ako, magtulong kayo (I will pay anyway, so help)… I will also guarantee that you can go back to your unit and fight another day,” Duterte said in his second address this week.

The President also offered the rebels to have coffee with him in Malacañang and assured they will not be arrested. If the latter happens, he will order for their release, he added.

COVID-19 cases in the country have been on an uptrend for days, even breaching 17,000 on Thursday from 10,000 the previous day.

Health experts say the Omicron variant may already be driving this, along with the Delta variant.