PH still in first wave of COVID-19 transmission – Duterte
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte believes the Philippines is still in the first wave of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) transmission as the country continues to see yet another surge in infections.
In a speech aired early Wednesday, Duterte said the Philippines could not afford to follow the lead of other countries that experienced a “relapse” of coronavirus transmission when they reopened their economy following months of strict lockdown measures.
“What really happened in these countries is that, although they open their economy for money to come in the coffers, there was a spike… It was like a relapse… And that’s what’s hard,” Duterte said, speaking partly in Filipino.
“We do not even know if the number of 34,178 active cases is still part of the first wave. Or have we arrive at the second wave? I don’t think so. We are still grappling with the first wave,” he added.
The Department of Health (DOH) said it had observed an increase in infection in the past two weeks, which it attributed to the increased contact among people as a result of the relaxation of quarantine measures.
The bulk of the new cases were recorded in Metro Manila, the country’s economic center, where movement restrictions have been eased for over a month now to restart the pandemic-hit economy.
Currently, there are 47,873 confirmed COVID-19 cases nationwide, including 12,386 recoveries and 1,309 deaths.
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