Differences in interpreting COVID-19 ‘waves’ not a cause for concern — Palace
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Thursday assured the public that differences in the interpretation of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) data among government officials should not cause concern.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said this as he refuted the declaration of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III that the Philippines is now experiencing the second wave of COVID-19 infections.
Nonetheless, Roque assured the public that government officials are on the same page when it comes to preventing “bigger waves” of COVID-19 cases.
“Maliit na bagay lang po ito dahil hindi naman pinagtatalunan kung dapat iwasan ‘yung pagkakahawa ng mas maraming numero ng ating mga kababayan,” Roque said in a televised press briefing in Malacañang.
(This is just a simple matter because we’re not disputing whether the further spread of the virus should be prevented.)
“It is just on the terminology on when is the big wave coming. Nagkakaisa po tayo na kailangang iwasan yung panibagong napakaraming numero ng magkakasakit na naman,” he added.
(Everyone is on the same page that we should avoid another increase in COVID-19 infection.)
Asked if the differences in statement show that the “orchestra is not well-orchestrated”—a nod to the resignation of former Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia—Roque replied: “Medyo sintunado lang po siguro ang isa pero okay naman po ang orchestra.”
(One is just out of tune but the orchestra, in general, is okay.)
Pernia resigned as the administration’s chief economist and head of the state planning agency National Economic and Development Authority mid-April, citing “personal reasons” and “differences in development philosophy” with some members of the Duterte Cabinet.
“I wanted to stay on and continue the fight against the COVID-19, but when the orchestra is not well-orchestrated, then you have a little problem,” Pernia said.
“Since I seemed to be a dissonant voice among others, I thought I should just quit.”
Pernia’s resignation in the middle of the country’s fight against the new coronavirus disease that has infected over 13,000 people nationwide with a death toll of 842 and 2,932 recoveries.
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