Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire countered presidential spokesperson Harry Roque’s claim that the “worst is over” by reminding the public not to be complacent in stopping the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic. 

“I don’t think that this is the time for us to make conclusions at this point in our situation regarding this pandemic. Alam po natin na marami pang factors at challenges na kailangan tayong harapin,” Vergeire said during an online forum.

“We are not out of the woods yet. ‘Yung recent trends na nakikita natin ay medyo hindi po siya stable… really unstable. This is because of the effect of this decrease in the outputs of our laboratories,” she added.

Roque on Thursday conveyed his optimism that the Philippines will recover this 2021.

“I think we have seen the worst and I think the entire government machinery agrees with this… So huwag po kayong mag-alala, the worst is over – sabi nga nila we’ve hit rock bottom and the only way to go is up,” he said.

Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. supported Roque’s assertion saying that the curve has already flattened. 

“It’s flattened. We don’t know why. I suspect it was the long and periodic lockdowns. It wasn’t science. But it took plenty of courage from those enforcing the lockdown because they had to be in the line of infection to keep as many of us in our places. Thank our Generals,” he said in a Twitter post.

Vergeire, on the other hand, contradicted Locsin and reminded that the public should avoid using the terms “curve and flattening.”

“Marami pong factors na nakaapekto sa ating mga kaso. One of the major factors would be the decrease in the laboratory outputs by as much as 30% nitong nakaraang holidays kaya po hindi pa natin masasabi, we are not certain at this point,” she said.

“Maghihintay tayo ng mga about one week to two weeks para makita natin if really may pagtaas ng kaso because of the holiday activities,” she added. Ronald dela Cruz