Palace says lockdown not a failure as number of COVID-19 cases breaches 1,000


Posted at Mar 29 2020 08:44 PM | Updated as of Mar 29 2020 09:35 PM

MANILA - Malacañang on Sunday said the continuous increase in the number of confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the country does not mean that the government's enhanced community quarantine is a failure.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the increase in the number of cases is merely due to the increase in the number of people who got tested.

"We beg to disagree. As we have previously stated, the reason for a few reported cases of confirmed cases two weeks ago was because there was a lack of testing kits to ascertain the number of those afflicted with the disease," he said.

"As the manufacture and supply of testing kits become available, plus the establishment of additional COVID-19 testing centers, there are more people being tested now than before, necessarily the hitherto unknown cases of COVID-19 have surfaced hence the galloping increase in number," Panelo added.

Panelo also said that there could have been more cases of COVID-19 in the country if the government did not implement the enhanced community quarantine.

"Had the enhanced community quarantine or partial lockdown not been imposed, the number of the COVID-19 cases could have been staggering, for the simple reason that with unrestricted movement of the population, with each individual being a potential carrier, the coronavirus would have an untrammeled leap-frogging from one person to another," he said.

As of Sunday, the Philippines has a total of 1,418 COVID-19 cases, with 71 fatalities and 42 recoveries.

The Philippine government imposed a lockdown on Luzon until April 12, suspending public transportation and ordering millions to stay at home, to curb the spread of COVID-19.