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‘Desperate’ measures vs Covid-19 paying off, says Philippine official

Regional News
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MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer) — The government’s “desperate” measures have produced “good results” in the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., National Task Force Covid-19 chief implementer, said on Wednesday.


In a meeting with the fellow Cabinet officials and President Rodrigo Duterte, which was aired early Thursday, Galvez described the Philippine government response to the contagion as superior compared to those of the other countries grappling with the respiratory disease.
Galvez highlighted the country’s gains from the extended Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine, which he said delayed the spread of the disease for a month.
“It gave us time to improve our medical services,” Galvez said. “Our preparations are very good compared to other countries. We were first in implementing a travel ban among the countries that had Covid-19 cases. And we have seen that our hard decisions — the desperate decisions — are paving the way for the good results that we are having now.”
Earlier, however, the Department of Health said that the impact of the lockdown on Luzon — the main island — would only be known by mid-April as it was still “too early to tell” whether it had a role in curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Duterte has placed the entire Luzon — home to about half the country’s population — under in a month-long enhanced community quarantine. It effectively suspended work for the majority of the region’s people as it likewise halted the operations of public transport.
The lockdown was supposed to end on April 14, but Duterte approved the proposal to extend it until April 30.
Currently, 3,870 individuals nationwide tested positive for Covid-19, of whom 182 died and 96 were able to recover. A vast majority of the total infection in the country were recorded in Luzon.
The health department has repeatedly claimed that the increasing number of confirmed Covid-19 cases was the result of the agency’s expanded capacity to test for the coronavirus, with the acquisition of thousands of testing kits and the designation of additional laboratories for reducing the backlog of samples.

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