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COVID-19 case hike slowing down, no flattening of curve yet – DOH

/ 12:03 PM April 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has yet to flatten the curve of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases but there are “indications”  that the increase in new cases has started to decline, a week before the extended Luzon-wide lockdown lapses on April 30, the Department of Health (DOH) said Thursday.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the country is experiencing a slow down in the spread of the novel coronavirus as seen from the rate of “doubling time of cases.”

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Health Undersecretary Rosette Vergeire. Screengrab from RTVM video.

She explained that from a three-day case doubling time, the Philippines now has a five-day rate according to health experts, meaning, the number of COVID-19 cases in the country will double after five days.

“Unang-una magandang indikasyon ito kung magtutuluy-tuloy,” Vergeire said in an online press briefing.

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(That’s a good indication if the case doubling time increases)

“Ang sabi ng mga eksperto kung magkakaron tayo ng case doubling time ng mga 30 days and more, talagang sinasabi na we’re onto that direction of flattening the curve. Pero alam naman natin na matagal pa tayo doon pero at least with this news its good for all of us,” she added.

(According to experts, if we can attain a 30-day case doubling time or more, we can say that we are really onto that direction of flattening the curve. But it’s that;sstill along way to go, but at least, this is good news for all of us.)

The DOH reported on Wednesday afternoon 111 new cases of the respiratory disease. This is the lowest reported number of new infections in two weeks.

The country last recorded a lower increase in infections on April 7 with 104 new cases. Meanwhile, the highest number of new cases was recorded on March 31 with 538.

The Philippines now has 6,710 cases of COVID-19, including 693 recoveries and 446 deaths.

Dr. Beverly Ho, OIC- Director for Health Promotion and Communication Service,  said that the DOH is “careful” in stating that the curve is already flattening because it acknowledges the agency’s limitations in assessing the situation with a clearer picture.

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“Why are we so careful about it? It’s because we know the issues with the data as well. We know the limitations. To call it as such would be irresponsible from our end,” Ho said.

“But if you’re talking about indications that it is flattening, yes it is,” she added.

Vergeire said the DOH has already forwarded a presentation of the health crisis situation to President Duterte last Monday.

Duterte is expected to announce his decision Thursday on whether to extend, expand, or modify the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon.

GSG

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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TAGS: case doubling time, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DoH, flattening the curve, Health, Outbreak
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