DOH preparing for possible rise in COVID-19 cases as gov’t eases restrictions in PUVs
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday said it is preparing for the possible surge in COVID-19 cases following the easing of physical distancing protocols in public transportation.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire issued the statement after the OCTA Research warned the government that easing the physical distancing rule in public transportation may lead to a spike in COVID-19 infections.
“Lagi naman po nating sinasabi, kasabay ng pagbubukas natin unti-unti ng ating ekonomiya and other sectors of society, we expect…at kasama po yan doon sa risk na ating inamanage ngayon itong pagtaas ng kaso kung saka sakali.
(Like what we’ve said, along with the gradual reopening of our economy and other sectors of society, we expect [the possible rise] and that is part of the risk that we are now managing.)
Vergeire explained that the further reopening of the economy should be coupled with the people’s strict adherence to the minimum health standards to avoid the increase in coronavirus infections.
“Sana po as we expect to have an increase in the number of cases because of the easing out of restrictions dito sa iba’t-ibang sektor, we hope that our population, ang ating mga kababayan ay sumunod maigi sa ating minimum health standards para maiwasan natin ang pagtaas muli ng kaso,” Vergeire said in an online media forum.
(Hopefully, as we expect to have an increase in the number of cases because of the easing out of restrictions in various sectors, we hope that our population, our countrymen will follow our minimum health standards to avoid another rise in cases.)
Malacañang earlier discarded the research group’s warning, saying that the relaxed protocol in public utility vehicles was backed by former Health secretaries Esperanza Cabral and Manuel Dayrit.
“I’m sorry, itong mga doktor na ito ay respetado. Hindi ko po alam kung sino ang doctor ng OCTA Group,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.
As of Tuesday, there are 373,144 confirmed cases of COVID-19 nationwide, including 328,602 recoveries and 7,053 deaths. [ac]
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