On the government’s COVID-19 response

We find it unfortunate that some quarters cannot seem to see the forest for the trees when they cite the cumulative number of cases and blatantly ignore the rest of the COVID-19 data.

As I have said in my previous briefings, the University of the Philippines earlier predicted that we would have more than THREE MILLION COVID-19 cases, if the current government did not act decisively. The community quarantine that the Administration imposed has helped us improve our health system capacity, and in turn, save thousands of lives at a huge cost to our economy. We earlier took the bitter pill of choosing health above economic activities.

While it is true that cases are still increasing, this is foremost attributed to our aggressive testing that we now have. The sad reality is that the virus is not going away easily until we develop a vaccine or find a cure. It is for this reason that the government is serious in looking at science in making decisions, such as the country’s case doubling rate, or the number of days it takes for cases to double, the utilization of critical care facilities and the case fatality rate which now stands at 2.7% which is far lower than the global average of 5.5%, as of July 19, 2020.

It is worth mentioning that there is a tremendous increase in the number of recoveries and a sharp decline in the number of deaths. Nonetheless, we sympathize with the families who lost their members and loved ones due to COVID-19. We believe that one life lost is one too many and that these numbers will not lull us to a false sense of security but instead make us work double time in improving our response against COVID-19.

On my part as Spokesperson of the President and IATF, I continue my public information campaign reminding our people in my briefings to wear mask, to wash hands, and to keep distance.

The Administration continues to be vigilant and work round the clock through its departments and line agencies as part of our whole-of-government approach, partnering with the local government units and the private sector, in enforcing health protocols and improving our testing, tracing, isolation and treatment while gradually opening the economy.