Duque denies barring Chinese doctors from helping PH in fight vs COVID-19
MANILA, Philippines — Health Secretary Francisco Duque III denied on Monday that the health department barred the arrival of Chinese doctors who were supposed to help the Philippines fight the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro “Teddyboy” Locsin Jr. earlier bared in a now-deleted Twitter post that the Department of Health (DOH) supposedly blocked the entry of Chinese doctors sent by Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian.
Duque clarified that the government is currently waiting for the arrival of 12 Chinese experts who will give their advice on how to handle COVID-19 patients.
“Hindi po totoo ‘yan. Nalinaw na po ‘yan kaya tinanggal na ni Secretary Locsin ‘yung kanyang tweet. Napaliwanag natin na hinihintay ‘yung 12 experts,” he said in an interview over dzMM.
(That’s not true. I have already clarified that so that’s why Secretary Locsin already took down his tweet. We explained that we are waiting for 12 experts.)
“Hindi sila magpa-practice dito, hindi sila manggagamot, sila ay magbibigay lang ng kanilang expert advice dahil sa Wuhan lockdown experience at saka ‘yung clinical management ng mga pasyente ay marami silang kaalaman na pwedeng makatulong sa ating pangagasiwa ng COVID-19 patients natin,” Duque added.
(They will not practice medicine here, they will not treat our patients. They would only give their expert advice because of their Wuhan lockdown experience and the clinical management of patients.)
Duque did not reveal when the Chinese doctors are supposed to arrive in the Philippines, but he said that hotel accommodations and translators are already being prepared for them.
The Chinese government had placed Wuhan City, where the virus originated, under lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19.
After two months, restrictions over the city were eased after Chinese health officials recorded no new local cases in the city.
To date, COVID-19 cases in China reached 81,470, with 3,304 fatalities.
In the Philippines, meanwhile, 1,418 individuals are now infected with the disease where 71 people have already died and 42 were able to recover.
The Chinese government previously donated test kits, surgical masks and other medical equipment to the Philippines amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
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