Despite presence of new variants, DOH denies ‘second wave’ of COVID-19 cases

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The Department of Health on Monday refused to categorize the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the country as a “second wave” of virus infections despite the presence of newer and more contagious variants of the coronavirus.

“We would like to veer away from classifying this marked increase in cases as having a surge or having a second wave,” said Health spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire.

“What we’re saying right now would be that there is this marked increase in the number of cases and the people [have] to be very cautious, and that local governments would have to step up with their response,” she added.

In a social media post over the weekend, health reform advocate Dr. Tony Leachon claimed that the second surge of COVID-19 is already in the Philippines. He urged citizens to protect themselves “since the IATF would like to loosen up restrictions” and that the DOH “does not want to proactively alert the people on the real situation in hotspots and in the hospitals.”

Vergeire said in a media forum that the rise in cases cannot be solely attributed to the new variants circulating in the country.

“Tumataas ang kaso, totoo pero hindi pwede sabihin na ang variants ang naging cause solely,” Vergeire said. “Kaya tumataas ay dahil nakakaligtaang ayusin at mag-comply sa minimum health standards.”