Duque warns public over Europe-like surge of COVID-19 cases if they drop minimum health protocols now

Published November 16, 2021, 12:53 AM

by Betheena Unite

Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III has warned the public that the Philippines might end up replicating the recent surge of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Europe if we let our guard down.

WHAT PHYSICAL DISTANCING?–A huge number people gather outside Las Piñas Medical Hospital for a scheduled vaccination on Aug. 5, 2021. (Photo by Ali Vicoy/MANILA BULLETIN)

Duque during President Duterte’s pre-recorded public briefing on Monday night, Nov. 15, has called on the public to continue observing minimum public health standards amid the improving trend of the viral disease in the country.

He specifically cited the worrying surge of cases in Europe triggered by the non-wearing of face masks to warn the public of the possibilities if they start being complacent.

“Kahit na bumababa ang ating healthcare utilization rate, bumababa ang ating average daily attack rate at ang ating two-week growth rate ay hindi po nangangahulugan na magluluwag po tayo dahil kung hindi matutulad po tayo sa UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain na kung saan po ay rumaragasa muli ang COVID-19 (Even if our healthcare utilization rate, average daily attack rate and the two-week growth rate are decreasing that does not mean we are going to be complacent because we do we might end up like UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain),” Duque said.

“It’s all up again, Mr. President,” he added before Duterte echoed his call.

The Health secretary further appealed to the public to avoid going to the so-called three Cs –closed spaces, crowded areas, and close-contact settings despite the deescalation of alert level Metro Manila.

He stressed that the response to the pandemic, which is anchored on increasing vaccination coverage, must be coupled with “a very disciplined compliance” to the health standards set by the government.

“Wag po tayong tutulad doon po sa mga bansang nabanggit namin ni Mr. President…Nakita natin sumipa muli ang kanilang mga kaso at mahalaga ang leksyon na dapat nating matutunan sa kanilang karanasan (Let us not replicate what those countries did. We saw their cases surging and this is an important lesson that we must learn from their experience),” Duque said.

“‘Yan ang mga practical na bagay na hindi naman mahal kung iisipin po natin, it doesn’t cost much and yet yung kanyang halaga sa pagprotekta ng ating kalusugan laban sa pandemyang ito ay napakataas (Those are practical things that does not cost much yet its value in providing protection to us is very high,” he added.