More than a flattened curve, PH eyes ‘downward trajectory’ in COVID-19 cases — Duque

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 5)— The Philippines is hoping to achieve not just the flattening of the curve, but also a sustained downward trajectory of new virus infections, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said on Monday.

“We would like a downward trajectory, more than the flattening of the curve… Remember, this virus will stay with us,” Duque said in an exclusive interview with CNN Philippines’ The Source.

In early September, the OCTA research team said the Philippines has already flattened the curve of coronavirus cases, with its reproductive rate sitting at a value less than one. The statistical measure, used to determine the “contagiousness” or rate of virus transmission, should ideally be one or less, as anything higher means there is still a significant community transmission.

RELATED: PH flattens COVID-19 curve, but public urged not to be ‘overly excited’ — research group

Duque, however, admitted that such movement has yet to reach a “significant level” in the country’s virus battle.

Bumababa siya (it's decreasing), that’s what the OCTA report said, but not yet to a level that is significant,” he stressed. “The goal is to have a downward trajectory.”

The Philippines as of Sunday logged a total of 322,497 cases of infections, making it the 20th nation in the world with the most virus cases.

This puts the country only a thousand cases behind Turkey (324,443). as well as Italy (325,329 )— once the epicenter of COVID-19 in Europe.

PH still doing ‘okay job’ with limited resources

Despite the bleak news, local health experts have stressed the importance of analyzing the trend of infections, noting how the Philippines is among the countries with a decreasing number of newly-recorded cases.

Duque also cited the Philippines’ improving case fatality and recovery rates, as well as ramped up healthcare system including boosted testing, tracing, and clinical management efforts.

He underscored that the country has also been doing a relatively “okay” job compared to other nations— including our Southeast Asian neighbors— which have more resources and crisis funds.

He added that he believes the country is "headed towards the right direction" in its COVID-19 response.

Ang resources natin ay (our resources are) really much much more limited than theirs," the health chief said. "I think, relatively, we’re okay. We’re not doing fantastic, but we’re doing okay. We’re adjusting.”