Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque touted the Philippines has low COVID-19 cases compared to other countries, giving credits to President Rodrigo Duterte on how the government responded to the pandemic crisis.
Duque said on Thursday in a briefing led by President Duterte, the country’s number of infected is relatively “low” despite the limited testing. He said COVID-19 incidence in the Philippines is two in every one million of the population.
“Isa po tayo sa may mababa na rate of infection kaya ito po ay nagsasalamin ng mga desisyon na ginawa po ng ating mahal na Pangulo,” he said at a press briefing in Malacañang.
(We are one of those who has a low rate of infection so this reflects the decisions made by our beloved President.)
Duque also said Duterte’s order to temporarily ban the entry of travelers from China where the virus originated, the Special Administrative Regions in February and the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine in March helped the country to keep its number of COVID-19 cases low.
“Ito po ang dalawang pangunahing kadahilanan kung bakit po ang bilang ng COVID-19 infections sa Pilipinas ay mababa po talaga,” he said.
(This is the second reason why the number of COVID-19 infections in the Philippines is low.)
Too early to conclude if COVID-19 cases in Philippines peaked or slowed down
However, Dr. Beverly Ho, Duque’s special assistant, said it is too early to tell if the number of infections slowed down or rose because of the quarantine.
“Masyado pa pong maaga para masagot ang tanong na ito with hard data. Ang incubation period po kasi ng COVID-19 ay 14 days,” Ho said at a news briefing.
(It’s too early to answer this question with no hard data. The incubation period of COVID-19 is 14 days.)
Ho explained that Filipinos who contracted COVID-19 before March 15 may not have shown symptoms until March 29 and only sought medical attention and testing after that date.
“Ayon po sa mga experts… mid-April pa talaga natin malalaman kung nagkaroon ng epekto ang ECQ, nag-peak or nag-slow down ba ang mga kaso, at iba pang mahahalagang impormasyon,” she added.
(According to experts, we only know if the ECQ affects by mid-April. If it peaked or slowed down and other relevant information.)