The Department of Health (DOH) said that the country managed to “flatten” its coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic curve “for a time,” clarifying the earlier statement of its secretary, Francisco Duque III.
“We flattened the curve for a time until we started opening up,” said DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire as she read the official statement of Duque during the agency’s press briefing on Wednesday afternoon.
As of July 15, the country’s case doubling time— or the time it takes for new cases to double—is now at eight days. Vergeire said that the imposition of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) last March “served its purpose.”
“We will continue to see increases in cases but what we need to make sure is that it does not translate to deaths; and that severe and critical cases remain at manageable level para hindi natin ma-overwhelm at mapagod ang ating healthcare workers,” said Vergeire, quoting Secretary Duque.
Vergeire then urged the public to continue observing the minimum health standards such as physical distancing, proper hand washing, cough etiquette, among others.
In his official Twitter account, Duque also clarified his statement during the pre- State of the Nation Address (SONA) forum.
“We bent the curve in April after the March ECQ but we are seeing an increase in cases due to the expanded testing capacity and community transmission as we allow movement of people,” he posted via Twitter.
During the pre-SONA forum, the Health chief claimed that the Philippines “successfully flattened the curve since April.”
Duque said that the “metric” for the said conclusion was based on the longer case doubling time as well as in terms of mortality.
In a related development, the COVID-19 cases in the Philippines continue to grow as 1,392 additional cases were confirmed.
Vergeire announced that the country’s case load jumped to 58,850. She said that the majority of the new cases were detected in Metro Manila, with 708.
The number of recoveries also rose by 517 to 20,976. However, 11 more patients died, bringing the death toll to 1,614.