Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Wednesday was quick to change his mind about his claim that the COVID-10 curve was flattening and admitted that the number of COVID-19 cases was rising.
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“Paumanhin po sa confusion na resulta ng aking earlier statement, nalito lang po ako sa tanong. Iyong longer case doubling time which is eight days, ibig sabihin po nito, nailiko na, nasimulan na nating nailiko o naikurba na natin ang epidemic curve nung [nagkaroon ng] imposition ng ECQ noong March,” Duque said just hours after claiming the COVID-10 curve was flattening
“Now, we are seeing an increase in cases dahil sa expanded testing and community transmission as we allow more movement of people, dahil nagluwag na po tayo ng restrictions,” Duque said.
Duque was referring to the transitioning of Metro Manila to General Community Quarantine in last June 1—a protocol that allows 75 percent of the workforce of each company to physically go to work, provided that social distancing is observed.
Duque said the rise in COVID-19 cases amid the easing of restrictions was also experienced in Iran, Serbia and Japan.
“This is expected as we open up the economy. What is important is we maintain the cases at manageable levels para ang ating health care system at health workers ay hindi ma-overwhelm,” Duque said.
READ: ’No to home quarantine’
“Time and again, we remind everyone to follow health protocols to contain the spread of the virus.”
Senate Majority Leader Migz Zubiri doubted Duque’s pronouncement that the COVID-19 infection curve had flattened.
“With all due respect, please tell us what curve is flattening?” Zubiri said.
Senator Sonny Angara also doubted Duque’s claim.
Villar tests positive
Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar on Wednesday announced he had tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019.
“I regret to announce that today, July 15, I received my test result and it is positive for COVID-19,” Villar said.
Only recently, President Rodrigo Duterte named Villar as the government’s isolation czar for the coronavirus pandemic.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said he was with Villar last week for the signing of the contract regarding the construction of two new segments of the CAVITEx-C5 Link Expressway.
The work at the Department of Agrarian Reform’s central office in Quezon City as well as in Region 4-A and 4-B were temporarily suspended when one of the agency’s ranking officials was found positive for coronavirus infection.
Secretary John Castriciones ordered the immediate closure of the central office on Elliptical Road, and the regional offices in Region 4-A and Region 4-B since both offices are also housed inside the main office compound.
He instructed all affected personnel to work from home and ordered a complete disinfection of the whole building.
Herrera also positive
Quezon City Councilor Bernard Herrera has also tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019.
In his Facebook page, Herrera, from District 1, told his constituents and the public that he had contracted the disease.
“I regretfully inform everyone that despite all the preventive measures that I have done for the last four months, in the recent test conducted by the Quezon City Health Department my test results turned positive for COVID-19,” he said.
“I do not have fever or flu, therefore I am currently asymptomatic. I am under home quarantine.”