IATF adviser: 'Tawagin na lang nating next wave para walang away'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 21 2020 02:22 AM

Children get their temperature checked and hands sanitized before boarding a bus bound for Leyte during the “Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pagasa” program ceremonial rollout held at the NHA compound in Quezon City, May 20, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA – A health expert on Wednesday sought to address confusion as the country experiences a new wave of coronavirus infections.

“Tawagin na lang nating next wave para hindi mag-away ‘yong mga tao,” Dr. Edsel Salvaña, member of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) technical advisory group, told Teleradyo.

Instead of concentrating on semantics, the focus should instead shift to preparing for a resurgence of COVID-19 cases, he said.

“Iwasan nalang natin ‘yong term. Sabihin nalang natin na ang kinatatakutan natin ay ‘yong next wave. Para wala ng away kasi dapat sama-sama tayo dito against the virus eh. Pinag-aawayan lang naman semantics,” added Salvaña, who is also the director of the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at the University of the Philippines - National Institutes of Health.

“However you understand it properly, ang importante is ano ang gagawin natin. That is iwasan talaga na mahawa tayo at makahawa ng iba.”

On Wednesday, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III Wednesday disclosed that the country is on its second wave of the virus outbreak. 

The health chief explained the country had its first wave of infection in January when 3 Chinese nationals caught the virus.

Dr. John Wong, who is also a member of the sub-technical working group on data analytics of the government’s task force, later said the second wave started in March after a “very quiet” February.

The peak of the second wave was when the country reported 538 new cases on March 31, he said.

However, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea disputed claims made by health experts over the country’s situation with the crisis.

"Alam mo hindi pronouncement ‘yan ng Presidente ‘yan or ano. Kailan ba lumabas ‘yang second wave? That we will have to see because as far as I know, wala pa tayo sa second wave," he told reporters on the sidelines of an event.

Medialdea added, “’Wag nating i-expect, ‘wag natin asahan, puwede ba?"

As of Wednesday, the Philippines has tallied 13,221 coronavirus infections, with 842 deaths and 2,932 recoveries.

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