No one to blame for spike
Malacañang said the Philippines was doing a good job in addressing the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic until the recent surge of cases happened due to the new and more contagious variants of the virus.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque made the statement as the Philippines marked its first year under lockdown on Monday, March 15, and with him testing positive for COVID-19.
In his virtual presser, Roque reiterated his earlier remark that the Philippines was “excellent” in handling the pandemic until the daily cases of COVID-19 ballooned starting early this month.
“Well, until sumipa po ang mga kaso natin (the number of cases surged), we were really doing a very good job– an excellent job,” he said.
“Mapapansin po natin na itong pagtaas, kailan lang po talaga nangyari ito, mga nakalipas na araw (You will notice that the surge of cases only happened recently),” he added.
Despite this, the Palace official said no one was to blame for the country’s situation. He explained that the situation worsened not because the people were complacent nor that the reopening of the economy was done without proper precautions, but only because the virus mutated.
“I don’t think anyone should be blamed. Kaya nga lang po (But), it’s the nature of viruses to mutate and let’s just be thankful that it has mutated in a way na mas nakakahawa siya pero hindi po nakakamatay (that it is more contagious and not deadlier),” Roque said.
“Ayaw ko pong isipin na ito ay dahil sa pagbubukas ng ekonomiya kasi ang datos po (I don’t want to think that it is because we reopened the economy because the data) does not support that,” he added.
Roque pointed out that since the country registered a low number of daily cases when the government further reopened the economy in October last year. He said that the number of cases increased after the holiday season but the number skyrocketed again in March this year.
“Tignan po natin ang datos, napababa po talaga natin ang kaso. At itong buwan ng Marso lang sumipa muli (Let’s look at the data. We were really able to bring down the number of cases. It just spiked again this March),” he reiterated.
Roque, however, reminded the public to not be complacent and continue following the minimum health protocols.
He likewise urged medical frontliners to get vaccinated already since they are qualified to receive the vaccine.