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People's Daily Online

Philippines opposes politicization of COVID-19 origins

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 17:03, August 02, 2021

MANILA, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines on Monday condemned politicizing the origins of COVID-19, joining a growing number of countries on the issue.

"We must know the origin of COVID-19, but let us leave that to scientists, experts. Let us leave it to science," presidential spokesperson Harry Roque told a televised news conference, stressing the need to seek a "scientific but not political answer."

Roque said COVID-19 is "the common enemy of the entire humanity regardless of nationality, color or shape."

"It is important that the world link arms to fight this. The problem is if we politicize this, it becomes a hindrance to our efforts to combat this," Roque said.

On July 15, permanent representatives of 48 countries to the United Nations Office at Geneva sent letters to the World Health Organization opposing the politicization of the probe on the origins of the coronavirus.

"That is also our position," said Roque, the second member of Philippines' Cabinet to oppose such politicization.

Philippine Health Secretary Francisco Duque last week also rejected efforts by some leaders and politicians to politicize COVID-19.

"We shun the politicization of anything that has something to do with the COVID-19," Duque told reporters.

"That is something that we were indifferent, totally indifferent about because you know we're very busy ramping up our (pandemic response), and we do not want to politicize the issue of the COVID-19," Duque added.

Duque also urged leaders and politicians to stick to scientific data to combat the highly infectious disease that has already killed millions worldwide.

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