MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Monday insisted that the government was doing an “excellent job” in its Covid-19 response only until recently when the number of new cases spiked.
In an online briefing, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the number of new Covid-19 cases was suppressed before the detection of new variants which were said to be more transmissible.
“Well, until sumipa po ang mga kaso natin, we were really doing a very good job, an excellent job. Napansin niyo naman talaga itong pagtaas, kailan lang po talaga nangyari ito, mga nakalipas na araw,” Roque said.
(Well until our cases spiked, we were really doing a very good job, an excellent job. You may also notice that the increase only happened recently, in the past few days.)
“At ayoko nga po sisihin, ayaw ko po sabihin na nagpapabaya ang mga Pilipino. Meron po talagang kinalaman itong mga bagong variants na lumalabas,” he added.
(I don’t want to blame or say that Filipinos were lenient. This really has something to do with the new variants we’re detecting.)
The Philippines’ health officials already confirmed the presence of variants of concern from Brazil, the United Kingdom, and South Africa.
“Napababa po talaga natin ang kaso. Nitong Marso lang sumipa muli,” Roque said.
(We have suppressed the number of cases. It only increased this March.)
“At bagamat paulit ulit ko sinasabi na hindi po ako eksperto, hindi po ako dalubhasa, hindi ako scientist, hindi ako doctor, tingin naman yung kumpirmasyon na nasa Pilipinas na yung mga bagong variants at itong mga variants ay mas nakakahawa, e ito’y isa sa mga dahilan ng surge. Hindi po dahil palpak ang gobyerno,” he added.
(Although I repeatedly say that I’m not an expert, scientist, or doctor, I think the confirmation that these more transmissible variants are in the Philippines are among the reasons for the surge. Not because the government is a failure.)
Roque has previously touted the government’s Covid-19 response as “excellent” given that it was able to control the spread of the new coronavirus compared to richer countries.
Despite the spike, Roque ruled out the possibility of returning to stricter quarantine measures.
The OCTA Research Team, an independent research group, projected that the country may record up to 8,000 new coronavirus cases if the current trend of new cases continues.
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