Duque: Philippines already over crisis stage of COVID-19 pandemic

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Thursday said the country has already crossed past the crisis stage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Interviewed on Dobol B TV, Duque noted the improved nationwide numbers when it comes to two-week growth rate, average daily attack rate (ADAR) and healthcare utilization.

“Nalagpasan na natin kasi low risk na nga tayo [We are already past it because we are already under low risk classification],” Duque said when asked if the crisis is almost over or is already over.

Duque said the country’s two-week growth rate is at -81% while the ADAR is at 7 cases per 100,000 population, which he said is considered “low-risk.”

“Tapos ang ating health systems capacity nasa low risk, mga a little over 30% lang ang kama na nagagamit, so 3 out of 10. Mababa siya,” he said.

(Then our health systems capacity is also at low risk. A little over 30% of bed capacity are utilized. That’s 3 out of 10, so that’s low.)

Face masks to stay

Still, Duque said he is not in favor of the lifting of the mandatory face mask policy anytime soon.

“Hindi ako naniniwala na malapit na ang panahon [na tanggalin ang face mask policy] kasi lalo na meron tayong campaign rallies. Lalo pa natin dapat pag-igtingin ang pagsunod sa minimum health standards,” Duque said.

(I don’t believe that the time is near to lift the face mask policy especially since we have campaign rallies. We should in fact intensify our compliance with minimum health standards.) —KBK, GMA News

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