PH ’10 steps back’ in COVID-19 response? ‘Please lang’ — Duque
MANILA, Philippines — It is not right to say that the country is “ten steps back” in is battle against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Friday as he appealed to critics to think about the “heroism” of frontline workers.
Duque was reacting to the remark of former health secretary Esperanza Cabral who said that the country is “not back on square one” but instead “ten steps back from step one” in the pandemic response.
Are we back to Square One ?
Ex DOH Sec. Esperanza Cabral pic.twitter.com/1olgPZ126sFEATURED STORIES
— Tony Leachon MD (@DrTonyLeachon) March 17, 2021
Duque pointed out that the country has made progress in combating the pandemic.
“Hindi naman siguro tama na sasabihin na ten steps backward. Please lang. Isipin naman yung malasakit nila sa healthcare workers natin na ang kabayanihan ay di mapantayan,” Duque said in an interview with Teleradyo.
“Ang daming mga buhay ang nasalba, kinalinga, pinagaling. Sana naman wag ganun kalupit ang kanilang mga opinyon. Kawawa naman tayong mga lingkod-bayan na talagang halos walang patid ang paninilbihan natin,” he added.
In the interview, Duque also cited government efforts such as the increase in RT-PCR laboratories and hospital bed capacities.
He said there has also been an increase in the number of COVID-19 facilities since the pandemic broke out.
The government was also able to control the surge in cases back in August last year, said Duque.
“Pero syempre kailangan mo rin ng ekonomiya gumalaw kasi marami ding nawawalan ng trabaho… Ganun talaga ‘yun, babalansehin narin ‘yung ekonomiya, ‘yung kalusugan, ‘yung proteksyon laban sa COVID,” Duque said.
Cabral, however, said the cases are once again on the rise.
“The COVID-19 cases are surging, the hospitals are once again full. So are we back to square one?.. We are not back to Square one. We are ten steps back from Square one,” Cabral said in a statement posted by Dr. Tony Leachon on Wednesday.
As of March 18, there are 640,984 COVID-19 cases in the country—of which 66,567 remain active.
A total of 561,530 patients have recovered, while 12,887 others have perished.
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