Department of Health chief Francisco Duque III said the Philippines was already over the COVID-19 pandemic crisis stage.
Duque told Dobol B TV that the country's average daily attack rate (ADAR), healthcare utilization, and two-week growth rate have improved.
“Nalagpasan na natin kasi low risk na nga tayo [We are already past it because we are already under low-risk classification],” Duque said when asked if the crisis is almost over or is already over.
Data showed the two-week growth rate in the Philippines is at -81%, while the ADAR is at 7 cases per 100,000 population. Therefore, Duque said it is considered “low-risk.”
“Tapos ang ating health systems capacity nasa low risk, mga a little over 30% lang ang kama na nagagamit, so 3 out of 10. Mababa siya,” he said.
(Then, our health system's capacity is also at low risk. A little over 30% of bed capacity is utilized. That's 3 out of 10, so that's low.)
However, Duque insisted the mandatory face mask policy should be maintained.
“Hindi ako naniniwala na malapit na ang panahon [na tanggalin ang face mask policy] kasi lalo na meron tayong campaign rallies. Lalo pa natin dapat pag-igtingin ang pagsunod sa minimum health standards,” Duque said.
PH overcomes COVID-19 pandemic crisis stage – Duque
(I don't believe that the time is near to lift the face mask policy, especially since we have campaign rallies. We should, in fact, intensify our compliance with minimum health standards.)
Meanwhile, the Philippine government targets to get additional loan financing from the Japanese government for its COVID-19 vaccination program, the Department of Finance (DOF) said Wednesday.
According to DOF, Japan and the Philippines discussed proposed additional financing support of JP¥30 billion (roughly about P13 billion) from Japan under the 2nd COVID-19 Crisis Response Support Loan (CCRESL 2) “to help cover the funding for the Philippines' ongoing national vaccination program.”
Special Advisor to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan Mori Masafumi reported that Japan's public and private financial aid to the Philippines since January 2017 had reached JP¥1.3 trillion. It exceeded the Asian country's JP¥1-trillion commitment.
“I'd like to emphasize that the government of Japan's commitment to the bilateral cooperation project remains unchanged under the Kishida Cabinet,” Mori said.
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