Duterte lauds 'improvement' in PH gov't coronavirus response


Posted at Oct 19 2020 10:41 PM

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday commended government efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the Philippines, saying "there's an improvement" in the country's response to the virus "in all aspects."

"Meaning to say, we are working, we are succeeding, and everybody is putting his effort, sweat dito sa trabaho (in this job)," Duterte said in a public briefing aired past 8 p.m.

The chief implementer of the Philippine pandemic response strategy meanwhile said provinces in the northern and southern Philippines are recording spikes of coronavirus cases, prompting some Cabinet officials to visit these places and monitor the situation.

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National Task Force (NTF) COVID-19 policy chief implementer Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. noted that La Union, Ilagan City, Isabela, and Baguio City for the last two weeks have been logging high numbers of infections.

Some areas in Mindanao also has been documenting spikes in COVID-19 cases, such as Bukidnon. Sen. Migz Zubiri, a native of the province, called for help, Galvez said.

He said Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, the country's contact tracing czar, will go to Bukidnon to assist Zubiri and local officials.

Galvez said he will visit Pangasinan and La Union with Health Sec. Francisco Duque III, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque will leave for Cebu, and COVID-19 testing czar Vince Dizon will also go to Laguna to assess the coronavirus situation in these areas.

Tawi-tawi, Nueva Ecija, Leyte, and Negros Occidental will also be visited by Cabinet officials due to their need to manage the pandemic in their respective provinces, he added.

As of Monday, the Philippines's COVID infections stand at 359,169, of which 42,191 are still active cases.

The Philippines is among the top 20 countries with the most number of COVID-19 patients in the world, despite imposing one of the strictest and longest lockdowns.