Earlier today, Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III said that the Philippines has “successfully flattened” the COVID-19 pandemic curve and, trust me, I am with you when I say “HUH?”
“The metrics are saying, arriving at that conclusion of flattening the curve, is actually the case doubling time of the COVID-19 infection has actually become longer. It used to have a very short doubling time, about 2.5 days during the initial phase of the pandemic,” Duque said in an Inquirer report. “The other metric to say that we have flattened the curve is that the mortality doubling time also got longer and is now in the moderate risk classification.”
The DOH secretary made that statement in the virtual presser to claim that the infection and mortality rate in the country has slowed down.
Duque also said that the country has been flattening the curve since April, but let me remind you that the entire island of Luzon was placed in what’s arguably the longest lockdown in the world since March. Although quarantine restrictions have been eased (and gone through several name changes), this does not hide the fact that COVID-19 cases have been rising.
Healthcare facilities all over Metro Manila have been denying patients due to the overwhelmed capacity as early as March with some mayors opening other facilities to set up makeshift hospitals to aid patients. Despite Duque claiming that the rate of COVID-19 infections has slowed down, we must take into account that the DOH was also revealed to have a backlog of reporting cases.
Remember when Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said “Congratulations, Philippines” for beating UP’s prediction of 40,000 cases by the end of June? Well, the DOH logged 36,438 cases with a testing backlog at 3,068 during that time.
As of July 14, the country’s count of COVID-19 hit 57,545 nationwide with 1,603 fatalities and 20,459 recoveries.
And with UP’s new prediction of hitting 60,000 COVID-19 cases by the end of July, y’all be the judge if we’ve really been flattening the curve as what Duque said.