COVID-19 spread slows down as DOH notes easing up of ‘doubling time’
MANILA, Philippines — The rate of the spread of the coronavirus disease has slowed down – thanks to the monthlong-imposition of the enhanced community quarantine over Luzon, the Department of Health (DOH) announced on Tuesday.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the “doubling time” of COVID-19 has slowed down, from three days to five days.
“Ang sabi ng mga eksperto, bumabagal na ang doubling time. Ibig sabihin kung dati, sa loob ng tatlong araw dumodoble ang mga kaso, ngayon ay mas matagal na ito, halos limang araw na ang average,” she said in a virtual press briefing.
(The experts say that the doubling time of the disease has slowed down. It means before it takes three days before the cases doubled, now it’s only five days.)
However, Vergeire said the government is aiming that the doubling time for the COVID-19 is 30 days.
Social distancing still a must
The Health official warned the public not to be complacent and continue practicing social distancing, disinfecting surfaces, and maintain personal hygiene by washing hands and using alcohol disinfectants.
“‘Wag na ‘wag tayong magiging complacent, pwedeng pumangit ang balita kung tayo ay biglang bibitaw sa ating mga responsibilidad bilang homeliners,” Vergeire said.
(We shouldn’t be complacent because the situation could still get worse if we stray from our responsibilities as homeliners.)
Last March 16, the entire island of Luzon was placed under enhanced community quarantine in a bid to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. It was supposed to only last until April 13 but it was extended until April 30.
Several areas in the country where there is high occurrence of COVID-19 have also followed suit in imposing community quarantine.
Under the quarantine, mass transportation was suspended to limit people from going out of their homes.
The Inter-Agency Task Force of Infectious Diseases (IATF) also ordered that all residents must wear a face mask when they go out in public.
The goal of the ECQ was only to “flatten the curve” of the COVID-19 spread and to “buy the government more time” to address the pandemic, Vergeire clarified.
“Binilhan tayo ng oras ng pagpapatupad ng ECQ para tayo ay lalong makapaghanda (the ECQ bought us some time to prepare for the pandemic),” she said.
There are 6,599 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country recorded since the first case was reported in January.
A total of 654 patients were able to beat the disease, however, 437 succumbed to it.
So far, the highest single-day spike of confirmed cases in the country was recorded last March 31, with 538 confirmed cases reported.
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