Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Monday the Philippines is yet to experience the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic despite the spike in cases in recent weeks.
The official made the declaration after the Philippines recorded over 80,000 cases as of July 26, Sunday. DOH logged an average of more than 2,000 cases for four days straight.
“As to the second wave, nag-aaral tayo, pero wala pa tayong naide-declare na ganito, hindi pa rin natin nakikita na meron tayong ganyan,” Vergeire said.
(As to the second wave, we are still studying it, but we cannot declare it yet. We are not experiencing the second wave.)
“We will be giving information as to these instances based on the epidemiological analysis and numbers that we have. We cannot answer that [question if we are on the second wave] now because it is being studied,” she added.
Vergeire explained the spike in the number of COVID-19 cases is expected since the community quarantines were eased nationwide since June 1 to jumpstart the country’s economy. The expanded testing also contributed to the increase of cases, she added.
“Nakikita natin na iyong expanded testing has been contributing a lot kasi tini-test na natin pati asymptomatic, at siyempre expected iyong increase in cases since we have eased restrictions, at mataas ang mobility ng tao,” she said.
(We see that our expanded testing has been contributing a lot because we are already testing asymptomatic, and of course, you expect an increase in cases since we have eased restrictions, and human mobility is high.)
“Kaya ang implication nito, we have to ready our health care system kasi mas maraming mangangailangan ng health care services,” she added.
(So the implication is, we have to ready our health care system because more people will need health care services.)
Vergeire earlier said the expanded testing include:
- frontliners in tourist zones
- workers in manufacturing companies and public service providers
- employees in economic zones
- drivers, “konduktor,” pilots, flight attendants
- waiters, restaurant managers
- bank tellers
- cashiers, clerk, messengers, security guard, among others
Vergeire added that they would also test residents in areas with reported clustering of COVID-19 cases.