Duterte: Masks stay until end of my term

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 12) — President Rodrigo Duterte said the government will not drop the nationwide mask mandate until the end of his term.

Despite the decline in COVID-19 infections, Duterte said the virus continues to pose a health threat to people, as he urged Filipinos to avoid complacency.

The statement comes as China and some European countries suffer a resurgence in coronavirus cases.

Duterte said it was a "reckless move" on the part of other countries to ease their mask requirements.

"There’s no way that masks will not be required. It will be a part of the protocol for a long time until the last day of my office. ‘Yan ang order ko at ‘yan ang sundin ninyo [That's my order, and you should follow]," he said during a taped Cabinet meeting aired Monday.

"I am just advising ang ating mga kababayan [our countrymen]. We are not out of the woods, actually. We are still in a bind," Duterte added.

Duterte also said there is a "distinct possibility" that the Philippines will record another surge in COVID-19 infections.

"We just have to be very careful and I’d like you to maintain 'yung mga [the] protocols which have been proven to help us a lot in combating the virus," he said.