IATF cries foul over accusations of its failure; says PH is in a ‘good place’

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President Rodrigo Roa Duterte holds a meeting with members of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) at the Matina Enclaves in Davao City on June 4, 2020. JOEY DALUMPINES/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases on Thursday maintained that they have not failed in handling the Philippines’ situation amid coronavirus pandemic and that the country is relatively in a good place compared to other nations.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, co-chair of the task force, made this statement as a response to criticisms that the government had failed to address the health crisis.

According to Nograles, the country would have had 1.3 million cases of COVID-19 if the inter-agency task force on the coronavirus response did not do anything.

“The fact that that had not yet happened, or hadn’t happened, shows that the IATF acted and the President acted with dispatch. Mabilis ang action natin (We acted fast),” he told ANC. 

It was Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon who criticized the task force after COVID-19 cases in the country had surpassed the 70,000-mark and “the only solution we see today is the continuous and repeated lockdowns.” 

Nograles cited the US and other developed countries in Latin America, Europe and Africa as an example, said that their “community transmission has skyrocketed, deaths are so high, the number of cases are so high, their health capacities are overwhelmed.”

“Compared to these countries we’re in a good place. Of course, there will be other countries who have done better, and we benchmark with those countries, and we try our best to match them,” he said. 

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