Philippines Flattened Curve Until Lockdown Was Eased: DOH

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The Philippines was able to slow the spread of the coronavirus until lockdown measures were lifted, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said, clarifying his earlier comment that the country had already flattened the curve.

“We flattened the curve for some time until we started opening up,” Duque said in a statement on Wednesday. A lockdown over large parts of the country had served its purpose since it now takes 8 days for Covid-19 cases to double from only 3 days in April, he said.

“We will continue to see increases in cases, but what we need to make sure is it doesn’t translate to deaths,” the health chief said.

The Southeast Asian nation reported 1,392 new infections on Wednesday, taking the tally to 58,850, the second-highest in the region and a nearly 600% jump from the 8,488 Covid-19 cases in end-April, according to data. In that same period, the number of deaths has also nearly tripled from 568 to 1,614.

In May, Duque said the country was already experiencing its second wave of coronavirus infections, prompting a correction from the Department of Health.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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