DOH: PH flattened its COVID-19 curve since April
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has flattened its COVID-19 infection curve since April, the Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III said Wednesday.
In a pre-State of the Nation Address forum, Duque cited the slowdown of COVID-19 infections doubling time and the decreasing mortality rate caused by the virus.
“First of all, we have successfully flattened the curve since April,” Duque said.
“The metrics are saying, arriving at that conclusion of flattening the curve, is actually the case doubling time of the COVID-19 infection has actually become longer. It used to have a very short doubling time, about 2.5 days during the initial phase of the pandemic.”
Duque said the country’s case doubling time now is between eight to 12 days.
“Ang ibig sabihin dito, nasimula na natin nailiko o naikurba yung epidemic curve in April after the imposition of ECQ [enhanced community quarantine] nung March 17,” Duque later on explained.
(This means that we started to turn the epidemic curve in April after the imposition of ECQ on March 17.)
“The other metric to say that we have flattened the curve is that the mortality doubling time also got longer and is now in the moderate risk classification,” he added.
Several parts of the country have been under quarantine since mid-March.
It was in June when the government eased restrictions across several regions, including Metro Manila.
“While we have flattened the curve, I have earlier indicated that this was able to provide us a window of opportunity to improve and increase, ramp up our health systems and capacity,“ Duque said.
As of Tuesday, the Philippines has recorded 57,545 COVID-19 cases nationwide with 1,603 fatalities and 20,459 recoveries.
Duque’s statement came on the heels of some hospitals in Metro Manila declaring that they have reached their full capacity for COVID-19 patients.
While there is an increase in coronavirus infections, Duque said this is caused by the government’s expanded testing capacity and “expected” as the country opened its economy.
“What is important is to maintain the cases at a manageable level,” he went on.
In May, Duque drew flak after announcing that the Philippines was already experiencing its second wave of COVID-19 infections.
The DOH later on apologized and clarified that the country remains to be on the first wave of the COVID-19 outbreak.
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