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Duterte says Philippines can beat COVID-19 even as cases soar

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night sought to assure the public that the recent spike in the number of COVID-19 cases was no cause for too much concern.

In his weekly address to the nation, Duterte asked Filipinos not to despair.

"Kaya natin ito. Itong COVID-19. Maliit na bagay lang ito. Madami tayong nadaanan. Huwag kayong matakot, hindi ko kayo iwanan," Duterte said.

[We can beat COVID-19. This is a small matter. We have been through a lot. Do not fear, I will not leave you.]

Duterte gave the remarks after the whole Metro Manila imposed a curfew running from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. for two weeks, or from March 15 to March 31.

Hospitals have reported COVID-19 wards and ICU beds getting filled.

The Philippines on Monday reported another record high of 5,404 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the total tally to 626,893.

This is the highest reported daily number of cases in seven months even as five laboratories failed to submit data on time.

The Department of Health said this brought the total active cases in the country to 53,479, the second highest number of active cases recorded this year. -NB, GMA News