MANILA — The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday said the Philippines may still improve on its COVID-19 response efforts even as it had prevented more deaths due to the disease.
“All this shows that you have prepared and used the lockdowns wisely to deal with the pandemic,” WHO Country Representative Rabindra Abeyasinghe said during a virtual briefing, after noting that the Philippines was able to increase its COVID-19 laboratories and isolation centers.
He said that while there are more than 10,000 COVID-related deaths in the Philippines, the country “managed to prevent a large number of deaths like we have seen in other countries.”
Despite this, Abeyasinghe said “there is still room for improvement.”
“We need to continue to improve. We need to continue to emphasize the need for early detection, early isolation and quarantining,” he said.
Abeyasinghe said getting the COVID-19 vaccine is just “one tool” and that the government should continue to emphasize that the virus can be contained by following the current health protocols.
COVID-19 cases in the country have already reached more than 500,000, with the more transmissible variant from the United Kingdom posing another threat. While the number of cases in Metro Manila had relatively stabilized, infections in other areas like Cebu City and Davao City have been increasing.