Some senators want DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III to correct his controversial statements regarding the virus transmission of asymptomatic patients and the second wave of the outbreak in the country.
Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri said Duque’s claim that the Philippines is currently experiencing the second wave of the virus infection is “ridiculous.” Zubiri said the statement “sowed panic” to people.
The Health Chief said Wednesday that the second wave of COVID-19 infection already hit the country. However, at least three other Cabinet members and health experts contradicted Duque’s claim.
“The 3 Chinese nationals he mentioned was not even a ripple. How could that be a wave?” Zubiri said during the Senate hearing.
Duque explained the first wave of the outbreak was when three Chinese nationals from Wuhan tested positive for COVID-19.
“Doctors have been commenting that it was such a ridiculous statement that sowed panic to many groups, particularly business groups,” the Majority Leader said.
“Now they (businessmen) have to explain to their employees and their clients why they have to open while we are on a second wave,” he said.
The Philippines “admitting” that it is on a second wave “shows incompetence” as it proves that the government “was not able to control the first wave,” Zubiri said.
“I hope the government can correct this. It is sowing panic… They should be very careful with their statements,” he said.
Wrong information on virus transmission
Senators Nancy Binay and Joel Villanueva also slammed Duque’s claim that the World Health Organization said there is no proof yet that asymptomatic COVID-19 patients are not contagious.
“Hindi sinabi ng WHO na hindi nakakahawa ang walang symptoms ng COVID,” Binay said. The senator cited the document released by the WHO on April 2 that there are “some reports have indicated that people with low symptoms may transmit the virus.”
(WHO did not say those with no symptoms of COVID are not contagious.)
“Sobrang nakakabahala kung ang Secretary of Health mismo ang nagsasabi ng maling info tungkol sa COVID-19,” she said.
(It was very alarming that the Secretary of Health himself tells wrong information about COVID-19.)
Villanueva said Duque’s wrong information is “cause of concern” and could confuse the public about the real situation.
“I hope ma-clarify ito ng husto because it is causing a lot of trouble,” he said.
Duque meanwhile has yet to respond to the issue.