Duque clarifies: PH did not flatten but only ‘bent’ COVID curve
The health secretary cited the slowdown of COVID-19 doubling time as a basis
Jul 15, 2020
During a pre-State of the Nation Address forum today, July 15, Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said that the country has already flattened the curve since April when asked about the steady rise in local COVID-19 cases.
“We have successfully flattened the curve since April,” he said. “The metrics for arriving at that conclusion of flattening the curve is actually one, the case doubling time of the COVID-19 infection has actually become longer.” He added that the doubling time, which determines how fast the number of infections double in an area, has slowed down to a 2.5-day window during the early days of the local outbreak.
However, he clarified this statement in a series of tweets hours after the forum aired. “Our case doubling time in April passed the three-day doubling time mark. [Now], July 15, it is at 8 days [case doubling time] (past the 7-day doubling time mark),” he wrote. “This means we bent the curve in April after the March [enhanced community quarantine] but we are seeing an increase in cases due to the expanded testing capacity and community transmission as we allow movement of people.”
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As of writing, the Philippine has 57,545 confirmed cases—with 20,459 recoveries and 1,603 deaths. Last July 5 to 6, the country recorded its highest single-day spikes which reached more than 2,000 additional cases. As of yesterday, July 14, six hospitals in Metro Manila announced that they have reached full bed capacity and will no longer be accepting COVID-19 patients.
Last May, Duque also claimed that the country was already in the middle of its “second wave.” He claimed that the first wave occurred in January when the country had its first three cases.
However, according to the World Health Organization’s guideline for pandemics, a second wave occurs after the increase in outbreak infections in the “initially affected countries have stopped or reversed.” Malacañang later apologized for the confusion and clarified that the country is still at its first wave.
Header photo courtesy of Grig C. Montegrande from Inquirer.net
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