Duque: Philippines now on 'second wave' of COVID-19 infections

MANILA, Philippines – Health Secretary Francisco Duque said that the Philippines is now on the "second wave" of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infections.
Duque COVID-19

During a virtual meeting on Wednesday, Duque said that the Department of Health (DOH) is doing everything they can to flatten the curve.

He said, "Actually nasa second wave tayo. Ginagawa natin ang lahat para maflatten 'yung epidemic curve at para magkaroon tayo ng sapat na panahon na mapaunlad at mapataas ang ating kakayahan sa sistemang pankalusugan."

While Duque recalled that the first wave of COVID-19 infections began when they recorded three Chinese nationals who were positive back in January, he didn't clarify when the second wave started.

"'Yung first wave natin nag-umpisa, happened some time in January noong nagkaroon tayo ng 3 Chinese nationals from Wuhan," he said.

The health chief said that the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases has not stopped. Duque warned a third wave of COVID-19 outbreak might occur if Metro Manila will ease its restrictions and shift to general quarantine.

Senator Win Gatchalian had earlier asked Duque in a Senate Committee of the Whole inquiry about the possible “worst case scenario” that the country will face on the COVID-19 outbreak.

Gatchalan asked, “Secretary Duque, para sa ’kin papunta tayo sa isang napakalaking problema – lumalabas na ang tao, at wala pa tayong malawakang testing. Ano ang nakikita ’nyong worst case scenario dito? Dahil hindi natin na-take advantage ’yung ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) na mag-testing tayo eh. Ngayon lang natin ginagawa ’yun.”

Duque replied that they fear the repeated cases and that we will face a third wave. He said depending on the areas, there is already a third wave.

“Ang worst case scenario rito, mag-uulit tayo ng mga outbreaks, at magkakaroon ng tinatawag na second wave – actually 3rd wave na tayo. Dedepende pa po ’yan sa bilang ng mga kaso sa mga iba’t ibang mga lugar,” Duque said.

Dr. Benjamin Co, a specialist on pediatric infectious diseases said he is confused with Duque’s recent statement and asked for further explanation from the health chief. He said, “We’ve never flattened anything yet. We’re still dealing with the first wave.”

As of May 20, the Philippines has a total number of 13,221 infections with a death toll of 842. Of the total number of infections, 9,447 were considered “active” cases.

— Sally, The Summit Express

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