MALACAÑANG ON Tuesday gave a “very good grade” of 85 percent on the country’s overall response to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
In an online briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the government scored a high mark because it was able to prevent the dire predictions of Covid-19 infections from becoming a reality.
“We’d like to highlight that number one, iyon nga po ‘no, iyong expectations ng mga dalubhasa, mga mathematicians na aabot na tayo dapat ng three million noong buwan pa ng Hunyo – hindi po nangyari iyan. (the expectations of experts, mathematicians, that [the number of infections] would reach three million by June, did not happen),” Roque said.
Roque said the government was also able to maintain a low case fatality rate at 1.7 percent and keep the country’s healthcare system from being overwhelmed with 50 percent available ICU bed capacity.
“So all in all, I think we deserve a very good grade. I would give it a grade of 85 percent,” he said.
Roque also touted the Philippines’ coronavirus testing policy as the best in Asia, adding that it is the “biggest strength” of the country’s Covid-19 response.
“We clearly have the best testing policy in the whole of Asia and probably in the whole world because we have exceeded three million and as a percentage of total population, ano na po iyan, lubus-lubusan na po iyan doon sa sinasabi nilang 3 percent na dapat na ma-test ang population at patuloy pa po tayo ‘no (that is more than the recommendation of testing 3 percent of the country’s population),” he said.
He said the government will still continue to increase the testing and “I think we will have the highest number of testing, one of the highest in the whole world.”
“So, that’s clearly, our biggest strength,” he added.
Roque, however, admitted that the country still has to brush up its contact tracing efforts.
He noted that this part of the country’s response can be improved with the newly-signed Bayanihan to Recover as One law, which allocates a total of PHP5 billion for the hiring of at least 50,000 contact tracers by the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
He also stressed the need for more quarantine facilities if the strict no home quarantine policy will be implemented.
The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday reported 3,544 new Covid-19 infections, raising the country’s overall tally to 269,407 with only 62,055 active cases.
It also logged 395 new recoveries and 34 deaths, bringing the total number of recoveries to 207,352 and the number of deaths to 4,663.(By Filane Mikee Cervantes)