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Roque blasts faulty WHO view

Francis Wakefield

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Malacañang on Monday disproved the World Health Organization’s (WHO) claim that Philippines has the highest COVID-19 cases in the Western Pacific Region.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque, called it unfair for the WHO to compare the Philippines to a country such as Singapore, considering its smaller population.

He said the rise in COVID-19 cases should be in relation to the country’s population.

“The WHO claimed that we are the country with the fastest (rising) number of COVID-19 cases in the Western Pacific Region. Is it true? We beg to disagree,” he said.

“Of course, if we look at the increase in cases, it should be related to your population. Why would we be compared to Singapore considering that it has only a population of five million. It’s only one city, it cannot even be compared to Quezon City or Manila,” he added.

Roque said that if one will divide the cases per a million population, Western Pacific India would show 549,197 cases followed by Pakistan with 202,955. Bangladesh has 137,787, Indonesia has 54,010, Singapore with 43,459 and the Philippines with only 35,455.

“Divide the cases per million population. It’s clear, the data do not lie. We are not the one with the fastest number of cases in the Western Pacific Region. We will let data answer the report of WHO),” Roque said.

“We always balance the health and the right to have livelihood. What we are looking at is case-doubling rate and critical care capacity. We know that if we cannot prevent the multiplication of the cases we will ensure that we have enough ability to give assistance those that will get sick especially those who are critical,” he added.

“To reiterate, there’s nothing to be ashamed off in terms of density. We are not number one in the Western Pacific because this is not a contest. And I will return that to the projection of UP if we didn’t make the steps that we made, we have more than three million COVID-19 cases already,” the palace official stated.

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