Palace: COVID-19 case spike not only in PH; more can be done in pandemic response

Published April 14, 2021, 8:29 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

Much work remains to be done in the pandemic response, Malacañang declared Wednesday after the country’s cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) surged nearly 900,000.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque highlighted the government’s efforts on testing, tracing, isolation, treatment, and vaccination but asked the public to do its part to overcome the pandemic.


“Much more can be done, thus, we call on all sectors to unite and help the government in putting an end to this dreadful pandemic,” he said in a statement Wednesday, April 14.

More than 8,000 new coronavirus cases have been reported Wednesday, bringing the country’s total number to 892,880.  The country has seen a rapid increase in cases of infections in recent weeks, that prompted authorities to tighten movement curbs to slow down the transmission.

According to Roque, the country was not alone in experiencing the latest spike in coronavirus cases.

“Critics and the detractors of the Administration have always something to say,” he said.

“It is worth mentioning that the increase in the number of cases is seen not only in the Philippines, but it is reflected worldwide as per World Health Organization Country Representative Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe,” he added.

In the face of the increase in coronavirus cases, Roque cited the government’s efforts to test, trace, isolate, treat people with the illness.

On testing, Roque claimed that the country ranked third after India and China in terms of tests per million population, with more than 10, 421,636 tests conducted, as of April 5, 2021.  In terms of total tests conducted, he said the Philippines placed second after Indonesia among countries in Southeast Asia,

“We have a weekly average of 52,565 tests from April 4-10, and reaching a high of 63,839 tests conducted last April 8, 2021,” he said.

On tracing, Roque said the government has “strengthened and improved” the use of Staysafe.PH system, the official contact tracing app.  He noted that the automatic contact tracing has been enhanced through text messaging system as well as the deployment of 27,672 contact tracers in the National Capital Region plus bubble.

On isolation, he said the Department of Public Works and Highways continued to build facilities and mobile hospitals to augment the need for quarantine facilities.

On treatment, he said the One Hospital Command has been established to better serve patients in need of hospitalization. 

“Medical facilities have likewise given to increase its dedicated beds COVID-19 after the President directed the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation to settle its obligation with hospitals while mainstreaming telemedicine in local government units (LGUs),” he said.

At least 136 healthcare workers from the Visayas and Mindanao have also been deployed to different facilities in Metro Manila, he added.

On vaccination, Roque said the country has administered more than a million coronavirus vaccines. “We are the third highest in vaccine rollout in ASEAN, with 1.2 million doses administered,” he said.