Zubiri: Duque called, sorry for ‘mix-up’ on PH’s COVID-19 curve
MANILA, Philippines — Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Wednesday apologized for the “mix-up” caused by his earlier statement that the Philippines has flattened the curve of COVID-19 infections in the country since April.
This was according to Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, who earlier chided the health secretary over his remark.
“Kakatawag lang ni Sec. Duque apologizing for the mix-up with what he said,” the senator told reporters in a Viber message.
(Sec. Duque just called apologizing for the mix-up with what he said).
“He (Duque) mentioned that he wanted to show the improvement on certain facets of the pandemic such as lower mortality rates but not the overall situation,” he added.
According to Zubiri, he advised Duque to be “careful” with statements he issues and to “just deal with the facts.”
“I’m sure he is under a lot [of] pressure plus the fact that a new member of the Cabinet tested positive for [the virus] is adding to that,” he said, referring to Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary and COVID-19 isolation czar Mark Villar.
“As I said, just tell the truth and give us the guidance on what to do,” Zubiri added.
In a pre-State of the Nation Address forum earlier Wednesday, 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.
But the health chief later clarified this, saying the country’s COVID-19 curve was “bent” and not “flattened” since April.
In May, Duque also drew flak after announcing that the Philippines was already experiencing its second wave of COVID-19 infections, a remark that Malacañang and even the Department of Health (DOH) contradicted.
To date, the Philippines has 58,850 COVID-19 cases nationwide, including 1614 fatalities and 20,976 recoveries.
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