Palace rejects reports on PH being the Southeast Asia’s COVID hotspot

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Malacañang on Friday rejected reports that the Philippines is now the Southeast Asia’s COVID-19 hot spot, with the most number of coronavirus infections overtaking Indonesia.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque branded said reports as “false” and “inconclusive and reasoned that the Philippines has reported more cases than Indonesia because of Manila’s improved testing capacity.

Dahil mas maigting ang ating pagte-test, hindi po totoo na mas maraming kaso tayo kaysa sa Indonesia (Because we have intensified our testing capacity, it’s not true that we have more cases than Indonesia),” Roque said.

Roque cited that currently, an average of 28,938 COVID-19 tests can be conducted per day, higher than Indonesia’s 14,921 COVID-19 tests per day.

Thus, the Philippines’ testing capacity is “three times” more advanced than Indonesia’s ability to conduct tests for Covid-19 daily, Roque said.

On Friday, the Philippines reported 3,379 new infections, bringing the national tally to 122,754 as of August 7.

Roque stressed that Bali, capital of Indonesia, only has “one-third of the actual testing” that Manila has conducted.

“So ‘yun po ang aking basis for saying na hindi naman talaga totoo at conclusive na mas marami na tayong kaso dito sa Pilipinascompared to Indonesia (So that’s my basis for saying that it is false and inconclusive to say that the Philippines has more cases compared to Indonesia),” Roque added.

President Rodrigo Duterte has enforced tougher quarantine restrictions in Metro Manila and its nearby provinces. Modified enhanced quarantine, the second most stringent quarantine classification, has been imposed in Metro Manila and the provinces of Laguna, Rizal, Cavite and Bataan from Aug. 4 to 18.

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