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2nd wave of COVID-19 infection peaked at end of March, says expert

/ 06:37 PM May 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The second wave of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection in the country peaked at the end of March, a local epidemiology expert said Wednesday.

Dr. John Wong, who is also part of the government task force on COVID-19 sub-technical working group on data and analytics, said in a televised press briefing with the Department of Health (DOH) that the first COVID-19 wave in the country occurred in late January when the Philippines recorded its first three confirmed cases.

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Wong was referring to the period when the first three COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, involving three Chinese tourists from Wuhan, were reported.

READ: 60-year-old Wuhan woman is 3rd nCoV case in PH

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Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire and Wong clarified that may it be a big or a small wave, the COVID-19 cases in January can still be classified as an “outbreak wave.”

“We define outbreak waves when there is a rise in cases and then a decrease in cases. Just like a wave in the ocean, there’s a peak and there’s a trough,” Wong explained.

The first wave was followed by a “lull” before the second wave of more than 10,000 cases occurred, he added.

According to the epidemiologist, the second wave which he called the country’s first major wave peaked at the end of March when DOH reported 538 new COVID-19 infections, the highest recorded new cases in a day.

But the second wave has since gone down to 220 cases a day which, according to Wong, signals that the Philippines is flattening the pandemic curve.

“The flattening of the curve occur about that time after the peak of 500 cases a day. Instead of going straight up, we’ve been experiencing fewer cases so we’ve flattened the curve,” he pointed out.

During a Senate hearing on the government’s COVID-19 response earlier Wednesday, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III disclosed that the Philippines is “actually” on the second wave of COVID-19 infection now, citing data from epidemiology experts.

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The nationwide COVID-19 cases tally surpassed the 13,000 mark on May 20 with a death toll of 842 and recoveries of 2,932.

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For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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