Palace: Philippines still in first wave of COVID-19 outbreak


Malacañang said Thursday Philippines is still in the first wave of COVID-19 outbreak, refuting Health Secretary Francisco Duque III’s claim that the country is already experiencing the second wave of virus infection. 

“Tayo po ngayon ay nasa [we are now in the] first wave,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in a televised Palace briefing.

Roque, however, did not directly call Duque’s declaration wrong. He said the DOH chief may only have a different take on the data. 

“Alam niyo po ang medisina, para ring mga abogado ‘yan, iisa lang ang batas namin (pero) iba iba ang interpretasyon. Ganyan din po siguro sa medisina, iisa ang siyensya ,iisa ang datos, iba ang basa,” Roque said.

(You know, medicine is like how lawyers work. We only have one law, but with different interpretations. Maybe it’s also like that in medicine, one science, once data, different reading.)

Duque said the country is “actually” on the second wave of infection during the Senate hearing on the government’s COVID-19 response.
Dr. John Wong, the epidemiologist of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases, earlier warned that there could be a 3rd wave of coronavirus infections after the government lifts lockdown.

Philippines still in first wave of COVID-19 outbreak

Wong said the first wave of the outbreak happened in January when the country first recorded its COVID-19 cases, which are all Chinese nationals, while the second one is the current outbreak, which infected over 13,000 people in the Philippines.
Dr. Anthony Leachon, who is also an IATF adviser, contradicted Wong’s and Duque’s statement.
Leachon said the country is still on the first wave and that the second wave would occur if the COVID-19 curve has been flattened already.s

“We have not yet flattened the curve eh kasi ang second wave nangyayari after na mag-flatten ka. So parang ‘yan ay experience sa Spanish influenza ng 1918, nag-flat siya tapos tsaka ka nagkaroon ng second wave,” he added.


(We have not yet flattened the curve because the second wave occurs after it was flattened. So that was the experience with the Spanish influenza of 1918, it flattened then you have a second wave.)

Dr. Wong, however, claimed earlier that the Philippines had flattened the virus curve already.