MANILA – The Philippines has been successful so far in its fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., as infections and deaths linked to the disease are gradually tapering off.
“Mga minamahal naming kababayan, ikinalulugod ko pong ibalita na sa ating patuloy na paglaban sa pandemyang ito, tayo po ay nagtatagumpay sa pagsugpo nito,” he said in a virtual press briefing Friday night.
(To our beloved citizens, I am pleased to inform you that in our fight against this pandemic, we are winning.)
Under 2 months of lockdown, the country’s COVID-19 infection averages 250 per 11,509 tests, Galvez said.
“Ibig sabihin po, hindi gaanong tumataas kahit na tumataas ang ating testing capability from 1,300 na ngayon ay 11,000 (daily) na,” he added.
(It means that cases are not increasing in spite of expanding our testing capability from 1,300 to 11,000 [daily] .)
The daily death rate has also reduced to a single digit in May while the country has recorded more recoveries, which already crossed 3,000, Galvez said.
The pandemic policy chief implementer attributed this success to lockdown rules enforced across the country, together with intensified contact-tracing and targeted testing.
“Marami pong nagsasabi na hindi nakatulong ang ating isinagawang ECQ or ‘yong lockdown. Ngunit ang sinasabi ko po ngayon, tingnan po natin ang mga datos. Hindi po nagsisinungaling ang mga datos,” he said.
(Many said that the ECQ or lockdown didn’t help us. But what I’m saying is, look at the data. The data don’t lie.)
In his speech, Galvez made comparisons of the country’s response to the pandemic with the United States and Italy, both hardest hit by COVID-19.
He showed ata where Metro Manila, the epicenter of the country’s outbreak, has so far recorded 842 deaths for a population of 16.5 million.
Meanwhile, New York City in the US has 61,886 deaths for a population of 19.5 million while 32,330 deaths were recorded in Italy’s Lombardy Region, which has 10 million people.
“Bagamat masasabi natin na naging epektibo ang programa ng bansa sa COVID-19, hindi po tayo puwedeng magkumpiyansa,” he said.
(While the country’s program against COVID-19 has been effective, we should not be complacent.)
Latest figures show the Philippine has tested nearly 208,000 people while Italy has run more than 3 million tests and the US has conducted 13 million.
To date, the Philippines has tallied 13,597 coronavirus infections, of whom 857 died while 3,092 survived.
The US has 1.5 million infections, with more than 94,000 deaths and nearly 299,000 recoveries while Italy has 228,000 infections, with 32,000 deaths and 134,000 recoveries, a running tally from US-based Johns Hopkins University revealed.