The country’s testing czar Secretary Vince Dizon on Saturday insisted that national government response on the COVID-19 pandemic is working despite problems with the implementation of some health protocols. This came after former Health Secretary Manuel Dayrit earlier said that the Philippines was unable to control the pandemic.
“Now we can see that all sectors are helping along with private sectors and our experts, like Secretary Dayrit, we are really pushing to control the cases,” he said in a televised briefing.
Dizon pointed out that it is not appropriate to put the blame on certain sectors claiming that a whole-of-government approach is needed for interventions to work in suppressing the virus.
“What we need is for all of us to work together and we thank Secretary Dayrit because he is one of our experts that are continuously helping the national government through their advice to our responses,” he said.
On Friday, Dayrit said that for months, the government has unsuccessfully contained the virus despite lockdowns implemented to slow it down.
He said it is especially seen in communities where the transmission was not halted.
“We’ve not controlled it… We’re trying to control it but we’re not able to control it, and that’s why it’s an upward curve and we’re averaging 3,000 to 4,000 cases a day being reported,” he said.
Nonetheless, Dayrit said that the current pandemic response though lacking is still somewhat working as he claimed that the country’s situation could’ve been worse without the earlier interventions implemented.
“It could be worse, you could also have been seeing cases of over 10,000 a day if the controls are really not there. So it could be worse, far worse. But if benchmarks are like Thailand and Vietnam, we’re not doing as well as them,” he also said.
Earlier Dr. Guido David of the Octa Research Team reminded the public that although a seemingly ‘flattening of the curve’ is seen in the trend of new cases after the two-week lockdown, the public is reminded not to be complacent especially with more industries eyed to reopen.
At present, the Philippines has reported nearly 260,000 cases (261,216 as of Sunday) of COVID-19 with Metro Manila — the epicenter — still topping the tally at a record of over 138,000 cases.