IATF doctor says DOH COVID-19 report not real-time, explains epidemic curve

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Dr. Anthony Leachon, Inter-Agency Task Force () adviser, said the ’s report on COVID-19 cases is not real-time, as he explains the status of the Philippines. 

“Ang explanation kasi ng epidemic curve ‘yun ‘yong acute viral transmission na mataas na magdidikta kasi hindi nakahanda ‘yong ating healthcare system. So habang ikaw ay nakalockdown ‘yon ang pagkakataon mo na i-build up ‘yong healthcare system mo, ‘yong testing, ‘yong mga ospital, ‘yong mga doktor mai-ready mo,” Leachon said.

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(The explanation of the epidemic curve is there is a high acute viral transmission since our healthcare system is not ready. While you are on lockdown, that’s the time you should build up your healthcare system; the testing, hospitals, you should prepare your doctors.)

“Hindi pa natin pwedeng sabihin na stabilized kasi ‘yong reports na nakikita natin sa ahensiya, health agency, hindi pa siya real time at this point in time,” he added.

(We can’t say yet that it stabilized because the reports we see that the health agency is reporting is not yet real-time at this point.)

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “an epidemic curve (epi curve) shows the progression of illnesses in an outbreak over time. Epi curves depict when people became ill by day, week, or month.”

Also read: Duque admits PH ‘actually’ on second wave of virus infection

Epidemic curve explained

According to Leachon, “importation cases” would cause a second wave of infection, as described by the World Health Organization. The doctor gave Singapore as an example which has over 25,000 COVID-19 cases mainly because of outbreaks in cramped migrant-worker dormitories.

“Ang isang example in modern times ay ang Singapore. After na successful siya na napababa niya, nung nag-open ang borders niya sa mga migrant workers, siya na ang nasa pinakamataas ngayon nasa 25,000 cases,” he added.

(One example in modern time is Singapore. After they successfully lowered their cases, it is now among the highest number of coronavirus infections (25,000) after they opened their borders to migrant workers.)

Leachon also refuted DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III’s claim that the Philippines now is experiencing the second wave of the outbreak. He said the country has not even flattened the curve yet. 

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