2nd wave of COVID-19 infection peaked at end of March, says expert
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.
Wong was referring to the period when the first three COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, involving three Chinese tourists from Wuhan, were reported.
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.
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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