Not flattened, but bent: Duque retracts his statement on PH COVID-19 curve

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Hours after Health Secretary Francisco Duque III claimed on Wednesday that the country “successfully” flattened the curve of COVID-19 infections, he posted a series of tweets clarifying that it is “bent” rather than flattened.

His initial pronouncement was made when asked about the steady rise in local COVID-19 cases, which has reached 58,850 infections as of July 115.

“We have successfully flattened the curve since April. The metrics for arriving at that conclusion of flattening the curve is actually one, the case doubling time of the COVID-19 infection has actually become longer,” Duque said during the government’s Pre-SONA forum.

The case doubling time, which refers how fast the number of infections double in an area, has slowed from a 2.5-day window during the early days of the local outbreak, Duque explained.

Duque said it now takes ​eight days for infections to double ​in the country as of July 15, which he said is past the critical one-week threshold.

Then, Duque turned to Twitter to clarify his remarks after getting the flak from netizens, switching to a different term: “bent.”

“This means we bent the curve in April after the March ECQ but we are seeing an increase in cases due to the expanded testing capacity and community transmission as we allow movement of people,” the Health chief said.

Meanwhile, several big hospitals in Metro Manila and Cebu City have declared full capacity for COVID-19 beds in the past few days, just as cases saw a spike as quarantine rules are being eased nationwide.

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