The Department of Health (DOH) did “very well” in the COVID-19 pandemic response despite its limited resources, Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a television program.
“I won’t say that we did very good or that we did excellently. For me, we did very well, given our limitations… given our resources. Both capital and human resources,” Duque said during the latest episode of “The Mangahas Interviews.”
If the assessment will be based on statistics, Duque said the Philippines’ COVID-19 programs fared well compared to the response of first-world countries like the United States and G20 member-states.
In other developments:
• The DOH has urged the incoming administration of President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to take a holistic approach in the implementation of the Universal Health Care (UHC), for the benefit of the people.
• The DOH has already identified all the close contacts of the country’s Omicron subvariant cases, noting that all of them were asymptomatic but some are still recovering.
• THE Quezon City government has raised its COVID-19 early warning level to yellow status after it recorded an average of 26 cases per day this week. The City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit, apart from the jump in average daily cases, observed two other indicators as of June 9.
• Angeles City Mayor Carmelo “Pogi” Lazatin, Jr. is appealing to Angeleños to work hand-in-hand with the city government to finally end the COVID-19 pandemic by keeping their face masks on in public.
Despite being a “small, middle-income country”, the Philippine government was able to control its cases and successfully roll out its nationwide vaccination project, Duque stressed.
“We’re not like America that is militarily superior… has research and development, scientific advancements… basically anything you can think of. But look at their fatalities. In America, there are one million… in the UK, hundreds of thousands have died,” he said.
“We’re a small, middle-income country but we were able to keep our fatality rate at a low. Our present cases are at 2,600 plus—minimal. We were able to beat the projection. We were able to widen our health system capacity through ‘prevent, detect, isolate, treat, reintegrate and vaccinate,’” he said.
“As for the vaccination trajectory, we’re doing okay. We’re now at 77 percent of the total population but at 90 percent of our adjusted target of 77-million Filipinos. So, for me, we did very well,” said Duque.
The DOH, as of June 10, logged 287 new COVID-19 cases bringing the nationwide COVID-19 tally to 3,692,617.
Of the numbers, 2,529 are active cases. The total recoveries was reported at 3,629,459 while the death toll was at 60,461.
The Philippines is also continuously rolling out its vaccination program with a total of 151,648,537 administered vaccine doses as of June 4, of which 69, 946, 046 individuals have completed their vaccines while 67, 263, 949 are awaiting their second dose.
A total of 14,438,542 have received their booster shots.
Duque also recognized the role of healthcare workers in the COVID-19 situation. He said the government owed the improving health situation to their sacrifices.
“Whatever credit that goes to the government must go to our healthcare workers, to our partners, to our experts, scientists…to everyone who helped under the whole-of-government, whole of society and whole of systems,” Duque said.