‘What curve is flattening?’, Zubiri asks Duque

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri on Wednesday rejected Health Secretary Francisco Duque III’s claim the Philippines has successfully flattened its COVID-19 infection curve since April, saying he believes the Department of Health (DOH) is merely imagining winning the fight against the pandemic.

Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri
(Senate of the Philippines / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

“OMG! Dear Secretary Duque, with all due respect, please tell us what curve is flattening?” Zubiri said in a text message to reporters.

“Is it the fact that the cases in April were at an average of two hundred a day as compared to the daily average of over a thousand cases today? Or is it the fact that we will soon be number one in South East Asia in terms COVID-19 cases?” Zubiri pointed out.

Duque, during a pre-State of the Nation Address (SONA) forum, cited the slowdown of COVID-19 cases doubling time and the decreasing mortality rate caused by the disease.

According to Duque, the country’s case doubling time is now between eight to 12 days. But Zubiri said he doubts the veracity of the DOH report.

“The only thing that is flat are the backs of all the poor patients in fully occupied COVID wards all around Metro Manila fighting for their lives!” the senator said.

“Wag mag bulag-bulagan (stop acting blind) and act to stop the surge instead of imagining it,” Zubiri told the DOH.

Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara agreed with Zubiri, saying he believes the government “hardly” had any success in stopping the virus from spreading.

“Hardly. If he said that three (3) weeks ago, I might have believed him but the hospital COVID wards are filling up again. There seem to be less people dying but cases seem to be on the up,” Angara said also in a text message to reporters.

“The WHO (World Health Organization) said a few months ago that there can be no real solution if we are not candid enough to admit the true state of affairs,” he pointed out.

Both Zubiri and Angara tested positive for COVID-19 last March but they have since recovered from the illness and donated their plasma to help other patients recover from the disease.