President Duterte gave due thanks on Monday night, Dec. 6 to Filipino frontliners for their “impressive” feat of bringing the number of new daily coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections back down to the triple-digit range.
“Better days ahead because since Dec. 1, we have been on average of 500 to 600 and the number of active cases continues to go down. I’m talking about the COVID,” Duterte said during his pre-recorded “Talk to the People” public briefing.
“Sa Davao nga (Actually in Davao) last week there’s only one. Very impressive. We continue to see downward trend of the positivity rate, now only less than two percent. This means that for every 100 persons tested for COVID-19, only a maximum of two people turned out to be positive,” he explained.
The Chief Executive went on to recognize the people responsible for these significant victories against the much-feared disease. He gave special mention to two Cabinet officials in particular.
“I’d like to thank the doctors, the volunteers and all for — of course, [Department of Health] Secretary [Francisco] Duque [III] and [National Task Force vs. COVID-19 chief implementer] Secretary [Carlito] Galvez [Jr]. I thank you for — in behalf of the Filipino people,” Duterte said, eliciting applause from the attending Cabinet members.
Duque and Galvez were on hand to hear Duterte’s praise. The two are key players in the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, or simply IATF.
It can be argued that the Philippines has successfully controlled the Delta variant of COVID-19, which caused fresh daily infections of over 20,000 in September.
Fast forward three months later, the country is routinely tallying daily new cases of fewer than 1,000.
Also hailing this development is Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion. Concepcion reckoned earlier Monday that the Philippines is the safest place for migrant Filipinos to spend Christmas in, given the improve COVID-19 situation.
Between Duque and Galvez, it is the former has been a more controversial figure in the government’s fight against COVID-19.
This year alone, Duque became one of the central figures of a hydra-like Senate investigation on alleged anomalies in the government’s procurement of COVID-related medical supplies.
But Duterte has been consistent in defending the DOH chief, vowing to “stand by him” even if it costs him his reputation.
As for Galvez, the former Philippine Army general has been at the forefront of the country’s procurement of life-saving vaccines.