During a virtual briefing on Thursday, Cabinet Sec. Karlo Nograles, the spokesperson of the Interagency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases said that there is no competition with what country has the lowest cases of COVID-19.
“Hindi naman ito contest among Asean (Association of Southeast Asian) nations. Hindi naman tayo contest na pakuntian ng number.”
Nograles says the Philippines is observing the best measures, as with other countries that have fewer cases, such as the implementation of a lockdown, travel restriction, and conducting more tests.
“Ang best practices pa rin is exactly what we’re doing. In fact, if there’s something that we learned doon sa summit namin sa Asean pati yung Asean Plus Three is that what we are doing here in the Philippines is also something that they are doing also in their respective countries.”
Nograles said that there should be nothing that the people should be extremely worried about.
“Of course you will be alarmed, but you don’t get disheartened if ang nakikita mo is, o dumadami tayo. O, mas malaki na tayo sa Malaysia or tayo ang pinakalamalaki sa Asean. If naman ang kapalit nyan isa agad natin na-isolate, agad natin tinitreat and agad nating napaparecover.”
The government has been more focused on testing suspected patients, and working on upgrading testing laboratories.
“That’s what we’re trying to focus on now. What is the medicine, what is the treatment we can give to our patients because the vaccine will take a year to develop. ‘Yan ang kanilang projection.”
The Philippines is seeking on finding a cure to the virus, and cooperation is needed for the creation of a vaccine, said President Duterte.
On Thursday, returning presidential spokesman Harry Roque says Filipinos should be ashamed of themselves, following the news saying the Philippines has the most number of cases in Southeast Asia.
He pointed out that there are a lot of Pinoys who violate the quarantine protocols in Luzon, plus more are showing that they lack the discipline to do so.
“Ang dami pong pasaway sa atin. At dahil po diyan number one na naman po tayo sa Asean sa dami ng COVID-19. Nakakahiya po yan!”
He urges people to stay at home as much as possible.
“Itigil niyo na po ang pagiging pasaway, manatili po kayo sa inyong tahanan.”
Roque compares the Philippines to other Asian countries saying it is only in the Philippines that heavy traffic is occurring.
“Kung ikukumpara po ninyo ang ECQ sa ibang bansa, sa Singapore lahat sumusunod. Sa Malaysia ganyan din. Dito lang sa Pilipinas nagkaroon ng traffic sa SLEx at sa Divisoria despite ECQ,”
It is actually embarrassing since the Philippines is doing exactly what the other countries are doing, but obviously the level of discipline that Filipinos have shown is on a lower level compared to their Asian neighbors.
“Mahiya naman po tayo. Hindi ko na po i-dedeny ‘yan dahil dapat tayong mga Pilipino mahiya dahil nagpapakita tayo ng kawalang disiplina e samantalang ginagawa naman po natin to dahil iniiwasan nating magkasakit ang ating mga kababayan.”
The Palace has also called on mothers nationwide to start practicing quarantining themselves.
“Mabuti po ‘yan kapag inyong inenforce ang ECQ hindi makakapunta si mister sa kanyang kulasisi. So para niyo nang awa po, stay in your homes,” Roque made an off-color joke.
As of Friday, the Philippines has 6,087 confirmed cases and 397 deaths.
According to Deep Knowledge Group, among the 20 countries with the highest risk of COVID-19, the Philippines is ranked at the 9th place, with Italy being the first.