DOH says 'cannot confirm yet' flattening of COVID-19 curve

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 08 2020 09:39 AM | Updated as of Sep 08 2020 09:47 AM

People who availed of the city’s free drive-thru COVID-19 testing line up to get their results at the Quirino grandstand in on September 2, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Department of Health cannot yet confirm that the Philippines has flattened its COVID-19 pandemic curve, an official said Tuesday.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said the country has flattened the pandemic curve,lauding the public for following health protocols imposed by government.

On Sunday, Dr. Guido David of the UP OCTA Research Team said Metro Manila and Calabarzon are starting to flatten the pandemic curve, as the virus reproduction rate in the two regions is estimated at 0.95, below the threshold of "1."

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, however, said authorities still need to conduct further study as the objective of flattening of the curve is to "spread the increase of the number of new cases over a longer period of time" to avoid overwhelming the healthcare system's capacity.

"Titingnan ho natin, basta itutuloy natin ang strategies na ginagawa natin ngayon but we cannot really confirm yet na ito na po talaga ang sinasabing flattening of the curve," she told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.

(We will see but we will continue our strategies. We cannot really confirm yet that this is what we call the flattening of the curve.)

"Kailangan pa ho natin ng mas maraming pagaaral. Kailangan po natin tingnan ang lahat ng factors. Though our numbers are going down these past days, kailangan din natin tingnan ano naman ang estado ng ating health system."

(We need to conduct more studies, we need to look at all the factors. Though our numbers are going down

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these past days, we need to look at the state of our health system.)

The capacity of Metro Manila's healthcare system is estimated at 66 percent from the previous "critical" level of 81 percent, Vergeire said.

The number of recovered virus patients nationwide is "almost 73 percent" while 97 percent of active cases are classified as mild and asymptomatic, Vergeire said.

The country's coordinated operations to defeat the pandemic by going house-to-house in search of virus patients and testing their close contacts helped in addressing community transmissions, according to Vergeire.

The One Hospital Command, a referral system among public and private medical facilities, meantime, helped decongest hospitals, Vergeire added.

"Nakikita nating mas mabilis ang pagtest natin ngayon at contact tracing is really efficient," she said.

(We can see we are testing faster and our contact tracing is really efficient.)

"With this prediction of UP OCTA, kami po ay bukas naman sa lahat ng estimates na ito. Amin pong ginagamit din bilang gabay para sa ahensiya. Pero ang sa'min po, we'd like to monitor and further study the situation."

(We are open to all estimates, we use it as a guide. For us, we'd like to monitor and further study the situation.)