MANILA-- The Philippines "bent" the coronavirus pandemic curve, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III clarified Wednesday, hours after he said the country has "successfully flattened" the curve since April.
Duque admitted that he was wrong to say that the Philippines flattened the pandemic curve, clarifying that what he meant was a lull in cases during April following a Luzon-wide lockdown which began mid-March.
"Hindi naman talaga flatten. 'Yun ang ibig sabihin kong ilinaw. Lumiko, hindi po flatten. Nagkamali ako doon at yun ang gusto kong linawin," Duque said in an interview with Teleradyo.
(It wasn't flatten. I want to clarify that. It got bent but not flattened. I made a mistake there and I want to clarify it.)
"Ibig sabihin ko, flattening of the curve, lumiko. Pero kung meron man ika nga yung pagbawas ng kaso, nakita natin yun na parang dumiretso, parang dumapa bahagya na. Ito ho yung ibig sabihin natin na dahil nga sa lockdown natin, medyo napadapa natin yung curve," he added.
(When I said flattening of the curve, I meant there was a bend in terms of the number of cases. We saw it dip a bit because of the lockdowns.)
In a forum earlier in the day, the health chief said the Philippines has "successfully flattened" the pandemic curve, citing the longer COVID-19 case doubling rate and mortality doubling time as the bases.
"We have successfully flattened the curve since April," he said during a virtual presser with reporters past noon.
The health chief also recognized the rising number of COVID-19 infections since June, the same month when the government largely eased lockdowns across the country.
Several hospitals over the past few days have reported full occupancy of their coronavirus wards as the country records more COVID-19 cases.
As of July 15, the Philippines has confirmed 58,850 COVID-19 infections, of which 36,260 are active cases.
The tally also includes 1,614 deaths and 20,976 recoveries.