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DOH’s Maria Rosario Vergeire slammed for denying Chinese nationals brought COVID-19 into the country

“…it is not conclusive yet for us to have an accurate conclusion.”

According to DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, there isn’t enough evidence to conclude that the three Chinese nationals who arrived in the Philippines were the ones responsible for spreading the coronavirus in the country.

Vergeire said that the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine’s (RITM) latest discovery should not be fully relied on for conclusions, which was able to identify the two main SARS-CoV-2 lineages that came from China, lineages A and B, and six other sub-lineages each from samples collected in Metro Manila, Ilocos Sur, Rizal, Laguna and Bohol.

“Kailangan nating i-interpret with caution kasi iyong napag-aralan ng RITM, maliit na portion pa lang ng population, it was done in… hindi ganoong karaming places,” she said in an online forum.

“Because the sample is still small and area [where it was done] is limited, it is not conclusive yet for us to have an accurate conclusion,” Vergeire added.

“Kailangan i-further pa ang pag-aaral. We need more details before we can actually say na hindi iyong mga Chinese ang nag-spread ng infection at nagkaroon ng tayo ng ibang pinanggalingan ng infection natin.”

The first three cases in the country were recorded in January but the unstoppable spread happened only two months later. The increase in cases left the government with no choice but to implement a nationwide lockdown to prevent further spreading of the disease.

The pandemic has caused the country to go into recession, leaving around 27 million jobless, as disclosed by a recent survey by the Social Weather Station.

Active COVID-19 cases are currently at 65,764, but the total number of recorded cases has breached the 200,000 mark.

Netizens blasted the DOH and Vergeire for going soft on the Chinese nationals, whom many believe brought the disease into the country. It seems to the people that the government is still kissing up to Beijing.

Written by Charles Teves

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