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13.3 percent average infection rate over past week a ‘red flag’ on increased COVID-19 transmission — Drilon

Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon on Tuesday said the government should consider as a “red flag” the 13.3 percent average infection rate of coronavirus disease cases recorded over a seven-day period, saying it is indicative that COVID-19 cases in the country continue to rise at an alarming rate.

Senator Franklin Drilon
(Senate of the Philippines / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

“The percentage of positive tests is hitting 13.3 percent despite putting Metro Manila, the center of COVID-19 in the country, under a modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ),” Drilon said in a statement on Tuesday.

“To me, that’s a ‘red flag’ already. Either we are not doing enough or we are totally mismanaging this pandemic,” the senator further said.

Drilon noted that the 7-day percentage of COVID positive cases from Aug. 9 to 15 rose to 13.3 percent after 26, 629 tested positive for the virus over a period of one week.

He said the data is indicative that the transmission of COVID-19 cases in the country is worsening, pointing out that the infection rate at the onset of the pandemic used to be between nine to 10 percent only.

This week, however, Drilon said the rate has rapidly increased to above 13 percent, with the number of confirmed cases during the first half of August alone—65,661 as of Aug. 15—surpassing the total cases recorded for the entire month of July.

“This is not due to the increased testing capacity. The increasing infection rate is a result of the missteps and mismanagements that we have seen since day one, particularly committed by Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, in the handling of the pandemic,” Drilon said.

For instance, he said the outcome of COVID-19 test done on Aug. 9 where 2,573 tests came out positive out of 18,126 samples tested is already equivalent to a 14.2 percent infection rate.

On the other hand, the testing done last Aug. 10, where 3,576 positive cases out of 28,243 tests were conducted shows a 12.7 percent infection rate; for Aug. 11 testing, 2,804 came out positive out of 19,718 tests which is equivalent to 15.2 percent infection rate; and for the Aug. 12 testing, 3,788 tests came out positive out of 27,602 tests or a 13.7 percent infection rate.

“The fight against COVID-19 is failing. To date, the dreaded disease has so far infected over 164,000 of our people, killed over 2,600 people, made over seven (7) million jobless and caused over five (5) million families hungry,” Drilon said.

“For all that we are doing, having the strictest and longest lockdown that put the country at a standstill, we still failed to prevent the spread of the virus,” Drilon reiterated. 

Likewise, Drilon said he is also concerned over “the worsening case doubling rate and mortality rate, which, if not addressed immediately, will overwhelm the healthcare system.”

“While the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) published a NAP or National Action Plan for COVID-19, they’re maybe taking a nap, instead of managing the spread of the virus,” he pointed out.

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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