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DOH to independent experts: ‘Be more careful in making pronouncements’

/ 10:19 PM July 27, 2021
DOH to independent experts: ‘Be more careful in making pronouncements’

The Department of Health says it “values the work of independent experts” but appealed to them to “be more careful in making pronouncements. INQUIRER.net file photo

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) called on independent experts to be more careful in their statements about the COVID-19 pandemic in order to avoid causing panic.

The DOH did not mention who it was referring to, but earlier in the day, OCTA Research fellow Ranjit Rye said that Metro Manila is “officially in a surge” of COVID-19 cases after some local government units confirmed cases of the highly transmissible Delta variant.

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Rye likewise urged the government to immediately impose “circuit-breaking” lockdowns to prevent the further spread of the Delta variant.

READ: OCTA: PH needs ‘circuit-breaking’ lockdowns now amid Delta variant

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In a statement, the DOH said it “values the work of independent experts” but appealed to them to “be more careful in making pronouncements in terms of the national situation, as this may cause more panic and fear.”

“While we acknowledge the differences in the metrics and methods of analysis used by these independent groups, we share the same goal to keep the case numbers down and improve the healthcare system of the country,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.

The DOH earlier said there is no objective basis yet for concluding that a surge in its early stages has started in Metro Manila, as what was mentioned by OCTA Research.

The agency further clarified that while there is an observed increase in cases, there is no “definitive evidence” of a surge in the capital region.

The DOH said it notes the observations of independent expert groups but maintains that such observations should be carefully verified.

According to the health department, Metro Manila is showing a 19-percent increase in the two-week growth rate (TWGR) of COVID-19 cases and an average daily attack rate of 6 cases per 100,000 population which is considered moderate risk.

The DOH assured that it works with concerned government units to ensure that these “signals of increase” in cases are immediately investigated and addressed.

The country has 56,477 active COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday, including the 10,315 cases in Metro Manila.

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For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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TAGS: coronavirus Philippines, COVID-19, Delta variant, DoH, OCTA Research
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