- Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III on May 21 clarified that the Philippines is currently on the “first major wave of sustained transmission” of COVID-19
- He said that his previous statement that the country is currently on the second wave of the outbreak was only his “casual expression of an epidemiologic fact”
- Dr. Beverly Ho, director of the DOH Promotion and Communications Service, on Thursday also apologized for the confusion made by Duque’s statement on May 20
- She said this few moments after Duque announced that his earlier statement was based on his personal remark
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Health Secretary Francisco Duque III clarified that the Philippines is currently on the “first major wave of sustained transmission” of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and his previous remark that the country is now on the second wave of the outbreak was only a “casual expression of an epidemiologic fact.”
During the House committee on health’s online meeting on May 21, Duque explained that, “My statement was a casual expression of an epidemiologic fact because the first wave, which can, of course, be validated by Dr. John Wong, that indeed there was the first wave but very small which consisted of just three imported cases in January.”
According to Inquirer.net, Wong is the founder of health research institution Epimetrics Inc. and a member of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases’ subtechnical working group on data analytics.
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Dr. Beverly Ho, director of the Department of Health (DOH) Promotion and Communications Service, on Thursday also apologized for the confusion made by the Health chief’s statement.
“Earlier, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque clarified that we are still in the first wave of the epidemic. The DOH confirms that yes we are on the first wave driven by a local community transmission,” she said.
“We apologize for the confusion that this has caused but we hope that this does not in any way distract us from what we really need to do to change the course of this pandemic,” Ho added.
According to ABS-CBN News, Ho said this a few hours after Roque said that Duque’s initial statement was based on his personal opinion.
In a previous report by KAMI, Duque announced that the Philippines is now on the second wave of COVID-19 transmission.
The coronavirus outbreak started out in Wuhan, Hubei Province of China. Scientists believed that the virus came from an animal at one of Wuhan's wet markets.
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