(June 30, 2020) – The Philippines patted itself at the back after disproving experts projection the infection cases will reach 40,000 by the end of the month.
In a news briefing on Tuesday, top government spokesman Harry Roque said the country only has a total of 36,000 cases as of end of June.
But he failed to mention the total number of people who had tested positive for the lethal virus from China has reached more than 44,000.
It showed the health department has a backlog of more than 8,000 cases to validate.
Researchers from the University of the Philippines had warned that the decision for the country to emerge from more than 100 days of lockdown could result in some 40,000 infections by the end of June.
Roque said the projection was inaccurate and it showed government was successful in slowing down the rise in cases.
“Bagama’t halos 40,000, hindi naman umabot,” he said. “Tingin ko hindi aabot ‘yan pero halos so naging successful po tayo, napabagal po natin ang sakit.”
President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesman said the goal is to prove another projection by experts, who had said that the Philippines could see 20,000 more infections or a total of 60,000 by end-July.
“Panalo na tayo. We beat the UP prediction, so congratulations Philippines. Let’s do it again in July. We are winning,” he said, despite the daily reported infections still in significant numbers.
Cases had since doubled from the 18,000 at the start of this month after government looked to jumpstart the economy that incurred losses and even contracted as a result of the hard lockdowns.
In a different briefing, the World Health Organization’s representative to Manila also sought to clarify that the world’s health body did not make the assessment that the Philippines is the fastest country in Western Pacific in terms of the rise in infections.
“The World Health Organization never made such comment. [It] does not compare countries or make such assessment,” Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe said.
It came after the government disputed WHO’s figures, saying comparisons should be made in the context of countries’ populations.
The public health crisis panel dealing with the pandemic had met last night as the deadline for new quarantine status lapses today.
Roque said provinces such as Cebu, Bulacan and Cagayan had appealed that they return to stricter quarantine measures.
Scant details were given, however, as Duterte is set to make the final decision in an address tonight. (Christian de Lano Deiparine/MM)
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