UP exec says Philippines is flattening the curve

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An executive from the (UP) who is also one of the government’s special advisers on the COVID-19 crisis said the Philippines is flattening the virus

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Dr. Ted Herbosa (Image from Albert Francis E. Domingo, MD)

According to Ted Herbosa, executive vice president of UP, the country’s healthcare system is “now able to cope” with new COVID-19 cases. 

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“Our curve is flattening, that’s what I can tell you. I’ve seen the curve in international comparisons, and we’re actually flattening the curve,” he told ANC.

“We’re not the best curve in the Asian region, but it’s actually lower than Indonesia. And the other countries are doing much better only because their health systems are much different than ours.”

Herbosa said the drop in the number of deaths, increase in recoveries, and a slower doubling time of COVID-19 cases are “all good signs that the curve has flattened.”

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“When we say the curve is flattened, that doesn’t mean the disease is already gone. The disease is still there, there’s still transmission… I think our reproductive number is still 0.9, less than 1 already. But the fact that there’s still reproduction happening, the fight isn’t over. We need 0 transmission, 0 deaths, and 0 new cases,” he said.

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Philippines is flattening the curve but is still in the 1st wave

Herbosa also noted that the Philippines is still battling against the first wave of the virus outbreak, with imported transmission cases as the most significant danger.

“Whatever wave number this is, we must be sure there will not be a next wave that will overwhelm the health system,” he said.

“Our biggest threat is outside inoculation again. Remember, we’re having about 2,000 OFWs returning home for their jobs abroad… Anyone of those can start an outbreak if not detected, isolated early.”

Herbosa however, emphasized that the country still needs to improve its testing capacity. 

“I think we’re over the 11,000 tests a day, which is about significant for our level of population. That’s the minimum number we should be testing… I do hope we’re able to do more tests. The tests of other countries are like ten times the number we’ve done,” he said.

“I think what’s important is we continue at our path, because, at this current path, we’re doing well, we’re at the deceleration part of the epidemic curve.”

Malacañang, on Monday, announced the government already reached its goal of conducting 30,000 COVID-19 tests daily. DOH data however, showed only an average of 8,000 tests is done in recent days. 

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