Clean COVID-19 face masks with petrol: Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte's 'serious' advice
Philippines' President Rodrigo Duterte has again repeated his bizarre advice, telling people to disinfect their face masks with petrol, and insisted that he is not joking.
Philippines' President Rodrigo Duterte is not new to making controversial and outrageous statements. This time, he has told people to disinfect their face masks with petrol amid the coronavirus pandemic and insisted he is "not joking". He made the similar bizarre comment last week, but that time his officials labelled it as a "joke".
On Friday, the President said: "What I've said (about washing masks with petrol) was true... go to a gasoline station". He had said last week that those who didn't have cleaning supplies could use gasoline as a disinfectant to clean their masks.
"At the end of the day, hang (the mask) somewhere and spray it with Lysol if you can afford it," he said, referencing a popular disinfectant brand. "For people who don't (have Lysol), drench it in gasoline or diesel... just find some gasoline (and) dip your hand (with the mask) in it."
After last week's comments, presidential spokesman Harry Roque quickly corrected him. "I can't believe that after four years of him as President, you still don't know (him)," said Roque, according to news site Rappler.
"(It's only a) joke. Why would we use gasoline for washing?"
WHAT DID DUTERTE SAY ON FRIDAY?
Referring to his earlier comments, Duterte said: "They (critics) said, 'Duterte's insane.' Stupid! If I'm insane, you should be the President, not me. "What I've said was true. If alcohol isn't available, especially for the poor, just go to a gasoline station, and use (gas) to disinfect.
"I am not joking. I am not joking. You… you try to get inside my brain," he added, according to the BBC.
There is no evidence that gasoline can disinfect masks; having prolonged contact with it can be harmful; and pouring flammable liquids can be a fire risk. Health official Maria Rosario Vergeire said cloth masks should be washed and dried normally, and surgical masks replaced after use.
VIRUS SITUATION IN PHILIPPINES
A daily high of 3,954 cases was recorded in the Philippines on Thursday, bringing the total number of cases to 89,374. There have been just under 2,000 confirmed COVID-related deaths.