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Duque retracts: COVID-19 infection curve ‘bent’, not ‘flattened’ since April

By: - Reporter / @DYGalvezINQ
/ 05:31 PM July 15, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Health Secretary Francisco Duque III has taken back his earlier pronouncement that the country’s COVID-19 infection curve has been “flattened” since April, this time saying it was “bent”.

In a series of tweets hours after making the controversial remark, Duque “clarified” the statement he made during a pre-State of the Nation Address forum.

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“Our case doubling time in April passed the 3-day doubling time mark,” he explained.

Forward to July 15, the Department of Health (DOH) chief said, case doubling time is eight days which is past the seven-day doubling time mark.

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“This means we bent the curve in April after the March ECQ but we are seeing an increase in cases due to the expanded testing capacity and community transmission as we allow movement of people,” he continued.

“Ang mahalaga ay ma-maintain ang bilang ng mga kaso at manageable levels para hindi natin ma-overwhelm at mapagod ang ating healthcare workers,” he also said.

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(What’s important is we maintain the number of cases at manageable levels so that our healthcare workers will not be overwhelmed and overworked.)

He even reiterated that the public should follow health protocols such as wearing of face mask, frequent handwashing, and physical distancing.

In a radio interview, Duque admitted that he made a mistake when he said that the Philippines has “flattened” the coronavirus curve, adding that the country saw a rise in confirmed COVID-19 cases in June due to the easing of quarantine protocols.

“Hindi naman talaga flattened [ang curve], ‘yun ‘yung gusto kong ilinaw. Lumiko lang. Nagkamali ako doon kaya ‘yun ang gusto kong linawin,” he said in an interview over ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo.

(The curve did not really flatten. That’s what I want to clarify. It only bent. I made a mistake that’s why I want to clarify it.)

Several hospitals in Metro Manila and Cebu City have already declared full capacity of their COVID-19 wards and have asked COVID-19 patients to be admitted elsewhere.

But despite this, Malacañang said Tuesday that critical care capacity of the country’s hospitals is still “manageable”.

Also on Tuesday, DOH admitted that isolation beds and ward beds for COVID-19 patients in Metro Manila have reached the “danger zone” as more than 70 percent of these are already occupied.

KGA

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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TAGS: coronavirus Philippines, COVID-19, DoH, flattening the curve, Francisco Duque III, Health, nCoV update, pandemic, Virus
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