DOH clarifies PH still on ‘first wave’ of sustained community transmission

CALOOCAN CITY, May 23 (PIA) -- The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday clarified that the country is still on its "first major wave" of sustained community transmission for COVID-19.

“The DOH confirms that yes, we are in the first wave driven by a local community transmission,” DOH Health Promotion and Communication Service Director Dr. Beverly Ho said in a virtual press briefing on May 21.

The health department explained that the local community transmission in the country started when cases with no exposure to COVID-19 positive patients or no travel history were first reported.

“We are still in this wave. Itong kasalukuyan na wave po natin ay nag-peak noong March 31 when we registered the highest number of positive cases at 538 cases that day,” Ho said.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque in his press briefing earlier said both interpretations about the country being in the first and second wave are factually correct.

The country is on its first wave when we consider the sustained community transmission. And also, on its second wave when we take into account the first three imported cases reported in January.

“We apologize for the confusion that this has caused, but we hope that this does not in any way distract us from what we really need to do to change the course of this pandemic,” Ho said.

The DOH assured the public that the department and the rest of the Executive branch are aligned with the state of the country currently being in the first wave of sustained community transmission.

Meanwhile, the health department also reported the average number of COVID-19 cases has declined to around 220 per day after the cases peaked on March.

“This is the reason why we are saying we have started to flatten the curve,” Ho said.

The DOH reminded everyone to continue practicing the preventive measures for COVID-19 such as hand washing, physical distancing, wearing of masks, regular disinfection, proper cough etiquette, and isolating oneself if showing some symptoms.

“The power to change the course of this pandemic lies in all of us, how flat the curve is and how long it will remain. Nakasalalay yun sa atin, to you and me and how good we are keeping in with the minimum public health standards,” Ho said. (PIA-NCR)

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