Health Secretary Francisco Duque made headlines once again when he revealed in a hearing that the country is currently experiencing a ‘second wave’ of infections. Duque cited the findings of experts such as epidemiologist Dr. John Wong for his claim.
Wong himself explained that waves are defined as an ‘increase then decrease in cases’. January saw PH’s first three cases, followed by a ‘quiet February, which constitutes the first wave.
The second began in March, which saw a peak of 538 new cases on the 31st. Now the country is experiencing lower numbers, with a plateau of at 220 per day, which Duque sees as a ‘flattening of the curve’.
Many are doubtful of Duque’s claim. Among them are senators Kiko Pangilinan and Risa Hontiveros, who argue that the current testing rate is too limited to make assumptions.
‘…maliwanag kahapon pa lamang na wala pang 0.2% ang ating mass testing’, questioned Pangilinan.
‘Habang, sabi nga, ang Vietnam ay 2.8%. Paano natin masasabing bumababa na ang numero ng new cases kung hindi naman ho tayo nagte-test?’
‘Mahirap sabihin na we have flattened the curve without real and reliable data’, added Hontiveros.
Sen. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan blasts the pronouncement of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III that the Philippines is now experiencing a second wave of #COVID19 infections, saying the country is not conducting enough testing to make such claim. pic.twitter.com/MLi5GorRU8
— ABS-CBN News Channel (@ANCALERTS) May 21, 2020
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea is also in disbelief, saying that the claim did not come from President Duterte himself.
‘Alam mo, hindi pronouncement ‘yan ng Presidente. Kailan ba lumabas ‘yang second wave? That, we will have to see because as far as I know, wala pa tayo sa second wave’, in an interview with Inquirer.
Dr. Edsel Salvaña, member of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), said that arguing about semantics is futile.
‘Tawagin na lang rating ‘next wave’ para hindi mag-away ‘yong mga tao’.
‘However you understand it properly, ang importante is ano ang gagawin natin. That is iwasan talaga na mahawa tayo at makahawa ng iba’.
And as for the Filipinos themselves, they are just straight-up confused.
When the real second wave comes, they will call it the Enhanced or Modified Second Wave.
— Kristoffer Pasion (@indiohistorian) May 20, 2020
Other countries going into their second wave of COVID cases after flattening their curves
Duque definition of second wave in the PH pic.twitter.com/RlKzcMen3c
— Austine #MassTestingNowPH (@austinedal1) May 20, 2020
Duque: we’re now at the second wave.
First wave: pic.twitter.com/KbM8zUElhp
— kim (@kimalexandria_) May 20, 2020
Duque: “We are already experiencing a second wave.”
IATF: “We have not yet flattened the curve. Philippines still in first wave.”
— anne #MassTestingNowPH (@shhh_anne) May 21, 2020
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