Still too early, risky to say we reached COVID-19 peak, says DOH as testing expands

3 years ago 0 Comments

MANILA – The Department of Health on Thursday acknowledged that it would be “quite risky” to say that the Philippines has reached the peak of its COVID-19 cases.

This as some have speculated that the country is close to flattening or “plateauing” the curve.

Flattening the curve refers to efforts to slow down an outbreak and make it more manageable such as the enhanced community quarantine. Flattening the curve also refers to how a line graph looks when the number of new cases daily is no longer increasing or has stayed low.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire has said before that there are “indications” of flattening but during a virtual briefing with reporters on Thursday, she said she cannot categorically say that it has already flattened.

“Kapag tinignan natin pasok ng numero natin araw araw, makikita naman natin talaga na hindi na sila naglalayo-layo. It is averaging on the 100 to 200s. Pero napakahirap and it’s quite risky for us to declare now that we really are plateauing and we really are reaching that peak. Wala pa ho tayo d'yan. Kahit ako masasabi ko 'yan,” she said.

(When we look at the new cases daily, we can see that the numbers are within the same range. It is averaging on the 100 to 200s. But it’s hard and it’s quite risky for us to declare now that we really are plateauing and we really are reaching that peak. We have not yet reached that. Even I can say that.)

She said it is too early to say, especially now that the country is able to test more people in different parts of the country.

“And we expect numbers to increase because of this. Kasi nadedetect na natin. Mas marami nadedetect (Because we are able to detect. We are able to detect more),” she said.

She pointed out that while the limited testing in the past had to focus on severe and critical cases and those from the vulnerable sector, the current expanded testing protocol allows the testing of people with mild symptoms.

Vergeire said they will have to analyze how the cases will increase as expanded testing continues.

She said all projections will change because of the new data coming in in the next several days.

As of Wednesday, the Philippines has had 8,212 confirmed COVID-19 cases.

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