DOH says entire world, not just PH, is ill-prepared for coronavirus
MANILA, Philippines — “Nobody knew that this was going to happen.”
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said this Tuesday as he asserted that the entire world, not just the Philippines, “is not prepared” for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic which has already infected over 1.3 million worldwide.
In an interview on CNN Philippines, Duque cited how other countries, like the private and public hospitals in the Philippines, supposedly scrambled to find or produce personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical supplies crucial in the fight against COVID-19.
“The whole world isn’t prepared for this. Because the global supply chain has been really extremely limited. The planning did not include this particular situation of the COVID-19,” Duque said.
“Nobody knew that this was going to happen. So it’s not a question whether we have the resources or funding to buy and then prepare all these PPEs, all these other medical supplies,” he added.
According to the Johns Hopkins University & Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center, over 1,350,800 people from 184 countries and territories have been infected by the respiratory disease that originated from Hubei, China.
Of the total, more than 74,800 have died although over 285,400 were able to recover worldwide.
The Philippines reported 3,764 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday afternoon, 177 of whom died while only 84 recovered.
But the health chief noted that the government was able to take two “major decisions and actions” that gave the Philippines an edge in fighting the disease—the travel ban to people from China and its administrative regions and the enhanced community quarantine of Luzon.
In mid-March, President Duterte placed the entire island of Luzon under a month-long enhanced community quarantine, effectively a lockdown, to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. It was supposed to end on Sunday, April 12 but was extended until April 30 as COVID-19 cases in the country continue to rise.
But the DOH said the increasing number of confirmed cases was the result of the agency’s expanded capacity to test for the coronavirus, with the acquisition of thousands of testing kits and the designation of additional laboratories for reducing the backlog of samples.
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