After receiving backlash for his “flattening the curve” statement, Health SecretaryFrancisco Duque III issued a clarification about his remarks that the country has “successfully flattened the curve” of COVID-19 cases “since April.”
The health chief in the government’s pre-SONA forum on Wednesday said that his definition was based on the longer case doubling time or how fast the number of infections double in an area.
He added that it was also based on the longer mortality doubling time which he said was now on “moderate risk classification.”
Duque later took to social media to clarify his “flattening the curve” remark following the criticisms and said that the country has “bent the curve in April” after the enhanced community quarantine was implemented in Luzon.
Duque said that the curve has “bent” after March’s hard lockdown but added that they are now “seeing an increased in cases due to the expanded testing capacity and community transmission as we allow movement of people.”
This is not the first time that the health chief has issued confusing statements that does not help the panic amid the pandemic. The hashtag #DuqueResign immediately trended on local Twitter after his remark, where Filipinos took out their frustration at his “incompetence” and “insensitivity.”
Last April, Senate members have drafted a resolution calling for him to step down from his position. On May, he made a statement that the country is on its second wave, but then retracted when experts countered his argument. Last month, #DuqueResign also trended after he passed the blame to his staff for the delay of cash assistance for frontliners.
President Rodrigo Duterte had constantly defended the health chief amidst the criticisms.