Palace regrets confusion, alarm caused by Duque's COVID-19 2nd wave claim | Inquirer News

Palace regrets confusion, alarm caused by Duque’s COVID-19 2nd wave claim

/ 03:39 PM May 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Thursday apologized to the public for the confusion and alarm caused by the announcement of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III that the Philippines is now experiencing the second wave of COVID-19 infections.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque issued the apology as he insisted that the country is still in the first wave of the coronavirus epidemic.

He also admitted that Duque did not inform President Rodrigo Duterte of his interpretation regarding the second wave of infections.


“Nagpapaumanhin po kami kung kayo ay naalarma. Pero ang katunayan po, ang siyensiya naman po at saka importante iyong pagbasa sa mga waves para alam natin ang gagawin na response,” Roque said in a televised Palace briefing.


(We apologize if you were alarmed. But the fact is, science and the interpretation of waves are important so we will know the response that we have to do.)

“Whether be it a wavelet or a first wave, ang katunayan naman po, ang importante maiwasan natin ang second wave na mas maraming kasong magkakasakit (the fact is, it is important that we avoid the second wave wherein more people will be sick),” he added.

Duque’s declaration was met with opposition especially after Duterte repeatedly mentioned trying to avoid the occurrence of the second wave of COVID-19 cases.

The Department of Health claimed that the first wave of infection occurred in late January when the Philippines recorded its first three confirmed cases involving Chinese tourists from Wuhan, the origin of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic.

But Roque, citing interpretations from some health professionals, argued that the three cases are too small to be considered an “outbreak wave.”

“Sa tingin ko kung titingnan natin ang depinisyon ng kurbada, iyong wave na tinatawag (I think if we look at the definition of the curve, the so-called wave), it is the number of cases over a period of time of community-acquired cases, eh dapat po siguro simula lamang iyong tatlong kaso ng mga Tsino (so the three cases involving the Chinese should have been just the start). Sana po nalinawan kayo dito (Hopefully, this clarified things to you),” he said.


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

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