Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday told his people they should use gasoline as a disinfectant for protective face masks – and stressed that his advice was not a joke.
“What I said is true,” Duterte said during a televised address on Friday. “Just go to the gasoline station, and then have some drops, that’s disinfectant.”
He added: “I am not joking. That is true. You think I am just kidding.”
It reported Southeast Asia’s biggest daily jump in new coronavirus cases for a second straight day on Friday, as Duterte extended restrictions to quell the spread, and promised normality would return in December.
Medical experts said his mask cleaning tips were not recommended.
“You cannot use gasoline as disinfectant. Inhaling it may cause harm and could lead to more problems like respiratory disease,” Jose Santiago, President of the Philippine Medical Association, told Reuters.
The first time Duterte suggested using petrol on masks, some opponents blasted him what they called dangerous advice.
“DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME,” Senator Risa Hontiveros said on Twitter.
“FACT CHECK: Gasoline and diesel should not be used in disinfecting.”
Sharing (again 😅), mga mahal! Reminder lang:
No health expert will advise you to use gasoline to disinfect your masks, hands or surfaces. 😬 this is a health hazard.
Stay safe! 😊 pic.twitter.com/jB3tB5Td03
— risa hontiveros (@risahontiveros) July 31, 2020