Palace refutes WHO data showing PH with fastest rise in COVID-19 cases in Western Pacific
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Monday disputed the World Health Organization’s report that the Philippines had the fastest rise of COVID-19 cases in the Western Pacific region.
During an online briefing, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the number of cases should be seen in relation to a country’s population.
“Ang sabi ng WHO, tayo daw ang pinakamabilis na tumaas ng kaso sa buong Western Pacific region. Totoo ba ho ito? We beg to disagree,” Roque said.
(WHO said we have the fastest rise in cases in the entire Western Pacific region. Is this true? We beg to disagree.)
“Kung titignan natin yung pagtaas ng kaso, dapat yan in relation to your population,” he said.
(If we look into the rise of cases, it should be in relation to your population.)
Data from WHO showed the Philippines recorded over 8,100 new cases since June 16, reportedly the highest among the 22 countries in Western Pacific.
The country was followed by Singapore which recorded over 2,300 new cases during the same period.
“Bakit tayo icocompare sa Singapore e ang Singapore limang milyon lang po yan? Isang siyudad lang po yan. Hindi pa siyudad ng Quezon City o Manila,” Roque said.
(Why are we being compared with Singapore when they only have a five million population. That’s only one city, not even Quezon City or Manila City.)
During his presentation, Roque claimed the Philippines was sixth in the Western Pacific region with India topping the list followed by Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia then Singapore.
WHO’s website, however, listed India, Bangladesh, and Indonesia as under the Southeast Asian region and Pakistan under the Eastern Mediterranean region.
“As far as I know, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are still Asian countries,” Roque said.
“If you look at the WHO, we checked this, in the data of WHO, they are classified as Western Pacific countries,” he added.
As of Sunday, there are already over 35,000 COVID-19 cases nationwide of which 1,244 have died and 9,686 have recovered.
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