It’s been two days after President Duterte’s suggestion on the reuse of face mask by disinfecting it with gasoline. His unacceptable joke sparked outrage in social media as there are no proofs that can support his claim.
This happened after he addressed that there are people who aren’t following the basic health protocols of wearing face masks in public. He ordered the Philippine National Police to arrest anyone who have seen not wearing a face mask. However, given his strict and militarized directive, he recognized the inability of the majority of affording a face mask.
He also initiated the support for filipinos to follow health protocols by giving free face mask. But, he added that the government cannot supply and give face mask to everyone. He also gave advice on using face mask twice by disinfecting it with alcohol and hanging it afterwards before reusing it again.
There comes the controversial statement of President Duterte about disinfecting face mask with gasoline. Although, it may seem really a joke, a huge number of netizens shocked on what they’ve heard on his address.
“Iyong wala, ibabad mo ng gasolina o diesel, p***** i** COVID na ’yan. Hindi uubra ’yan diyan. Totoo. Kung wala kayo… if you want to disinfect, maghanap ka ng gasolina. Ibabad mo lang iyong kamay mo. Layo mo lang kay baka… huwag sa loob ng bahay ninyo” He said
Yesterday, July 23, 2020, his spokeman, Harry Roque reiterated that the president’s statement on disinfecting face mask with a gasoline is just only a joke. He also added that four years has passed and yet the general public has not been used to the President’s language.
“Kayo naman apat na taon na si Presidente, parang hindi niyo pa kilala si Presidente (The President has been in office for four years already but it seems you still don’t know him). [It’s a] Joke only!” Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said.
The Department of Health also supported the claim of Harry Roque of acknowledging it as only a joke and addressed the public to not take it seriously.
The Effect of Gasoline to Health
Technically, the exposure to gasoline can cause serious health problems.
Whether it is direct or indirect contact, gasoline are substances containing poisonous chemical compounds. When a person is in contact with gasoline, it can either experience burns or irritations on the surface of skin where exposure to gasoline is concentrated and it can also cause serious complications when ingested or inhaled.
The unacceptable and inhumane joke of President Duterte of disinfecting face mask with gasoline can induce a carbon monoxide poisoning to a person who is unaware of its harmful effects.
The carbon monoxide substance is generally invisible and odorless. When a person who isn’t fully aware of its harmful effect can inhale carbon monoxide in large quantities and wearing a disinfected face mask with gasoline can cause permanent brain damage or even death.
With these, is it acceptable to spread fake news and withdraw a claim as only a joke amid this coronavirus pandemic?