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Premature to say if Covid cases peaked – Duque


It is too early to say if the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in the country have peaked, Health Secretary Francisco Duque 3rd said on Monday.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque 3rd

“Premature. Maybe we must wait another four to five days to establish a clear trend,” Duque said in a radio interview.

He said the Department of Health needs sufficient epidemiological data “because we have backlogs due to lack of testing kits.”

Earlier, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., chief implementer of the national action policy on Covid-19, noted the number of new cases has dipped, from 538 on March 31 to 322 on April 2.

The number of new cases recorded from April 3 to 5 has not surpassed the March 31 count, Galvez said.

Duque said testing efforts were continuously being stepped up to generate data that would be more reflective of the situation on the ground. “There are a lot of limitations beyond us, like the global supply chain of testing kits,” he said.

There are eight laboratories nationwide conducting over 1,200 Covid-19 tests a day.

Hospitals and laboratories are also seeking accreditation from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine.

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the Covid-19 testing kit developed by the University of the Philippines’ National Institute of Health.

Duque also deferred making any comments on whether he favors the extension of the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon, saying the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases will make that decision.

As of Monday, there were 3,246 Covid-19 cases, with 153 deaths and 64 recoveries.


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