The Department of Health apologized last Thursday for Health Secretary Francisco Duque’s remark that the country is already experiencing the second wave of COVID-19 infections. They clarified that this is not the case.
Special Assistant to the Health Secretary Beverly Ho confirmed that the Philippines is still in the first wave of the outbreak during an online briefing.
“The DOH confirms that yes, we are in the first wave driven by local community transmission,” Ho said.
Ho added that the first wave began with the confirmation of the first local transmission of COVID-19 in March and reached its peak on March 31, when the number of cases jumped by 538.
Following the peak, the daily increase in cases has averaged at around 220 which, according to Ho, is “the reason why we are saying that we have started to flatten the curve.”
“We apologize for the confusion that this has caused. But we hope that this does not in any way distract us from what we really need to do to change the course of this pandemic,” Ho finished.
Duque earlier clarified his controversial statement on the “second wave.”
“My statement was a casual expression of an epidemiologic fact because the first wave… that indeed there was a first wave but very small which consist of three imported cases in January,” he said.
Duque added: “In the epidemiological sense, cases that show a rise or a crest and then a decrease or trough constitutes a wave, although a very small wave. And we have nothing for February and this was followed by a bigger wave which we now consider first major wave of community transmission.”
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