No COVID-19 second wave, it's only in media -- Lorenzana

Despite some countries experiencing a rise in the number of coronavirus disease infections for the second time, National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 chairperson Delfin Lorenzana apparently does not believe in the highly contagious disease's so-called "second wave."

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana

Lorenzana went on to blame the media for supposedly sensationalizing the data presented by the Department of Health (DOH) regarding the daily number of reported infections.

"Personally, hindi ako naniniwala ng second wave kasi wala namang darating na bagong virus na other wave na ganoon eh. Nandyan na 'yong virus, pumuputok lang (Personally, I don't believe about the second wave because there won't be a new virus that will bring other waves like that. The coronavirus is already there, surges just happen)," Lorenzana said during the visit of the Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (CODE) Team in Baguio City on Saturday.

"Dapat ma-contain natin. Don't panic. Kasi ang ginagawa ng media, they are sensationalizing... ito mataas na. This is concerning but not really catastrophic (We just need to contain it. Don't panic. What the media does is they are sensationalizing ... that the numbers are high.)," he added.

When it comes to the current pandemic, there is no agreed upon scientific definition of the term second wave. 

However, back in June of this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) had indirectly described the second wave as the resurgence of COVID-19 infections in a particular area which it said was "a very real risk."

Just last Thursday, foreign media entities reported that the WHO warned of an alarming resurgence of infections in Europe where about 45,000 new cases were being validated daily. 

This reportedly came when quarantine restrictions were eased in Europe after it initially quashed COVID-19.

In the Philippines, health experts and academicians said that the COVID-19 curve has flattened in the early part of September, owing it to the decreased daily infections being reported and the lower r-naught or the number of individuals getting infected by a single positive case.

NTF chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. had warned that there should be no room for complacency as a second wave of infection might occur.

But Lorenzana was confident that COVID-19 outbreaks are "normal" and all that has to be done is to implement measures to contain it again, including the enforcement of lockdowns, isolation, contact tracing, and comprehensive treatment.

"If there is a surge, don't panic. That is normal sa virus na ito na biglang lalabas. Remember that the incubation period ay magstart ng fifth day. It's impossible for us to capture everybody na infected so normal iyan na pakalat-kalat dyan at mag-infect na naman then sabay-sabay na lalabas iyan. (If there is a surge, don't panic. It is normal for this virus to just come out. Remember that the incubation period starts on the fifth day. It's impossible for us to capture everybody who got infected so it's normal for them to go out and infect others then they would come out altogether)," he said.

"Now, all we have to do is activate the measures and weapons at our disposal to contain it," he added. 

As of September 19, the DOH has recorded a total of 283,460 cases in the country with 4,930 deaths and 209,885 recoveries.