Health Secretary Francisco Duque III announced on Wednesday that the country is now on the second wave of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.
“Actually, nasa second wave tayo,” Duque told senators in a hearing. “‘Yung first wave natin nag-umpisa, happened some time in January noong nagkaroon tayo ng 3 Chinese nationals from Wuhan,” he added
[Actually, we’re now on the second wave. The first wave started, happened some time in January when we had 3 Chinese nationals from Wuhan.]
It can be remembered that the first batch of infections detected in the country all involved patients from Wuhan City, China, where the coronavirus pandemic began.
In a May 7 Department of Health (DOH) online briefing, Dr. John Wong of Epimetrics Inc. also said that the Philippines was already on the second wave of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Neither the health chief nor Wong explained when the second wave exactly began and what parameters were used to determine the timeline.
Duque warned that a third wave of COVID-19 cases may be possible if Metro Manila abruptly shifts to general quarantine.
Last Saturday, Metro Manila and other high-risk provinces shifted to a more relaxed modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ). Only the cities of Cebu and Mandaue remain under a strict lockdown.
As of May 19, the Philippines has confirmed 12,942 COVID-19 patients. Of those infected 837 have died while 2,843 have recovered.