A certain Eric Clark Su has taken the cudgels to defend the Duterte administration from critics who has been busy spreading misinformation on social media.
Su answered the alleged 9 shortcomings or the sins of the Duterte administration during the covid-19 crisis.
1. The late ban of Chinese arrivals. Su said this is not true. He said the Duterte admin was of the first countries in the world to impose a travel ban to Chinese travelers. In fact, the Philippines announced the ban on February 3, just three days after Australia, US and Italy made their respective announcements. Su said that based on the number of confirmed cases of the said countries, the Philippines did fare better despite the slight delay in announcing the ban of Chinese entry to the country.
Aus: 6,586 (as of Apr 19)
US: 738,792 (as of Apr 19)
Italy: 175,925 (as of Apr 19)
PH: 6,087 (as of Apr 19)
2. Chinese are allowed entry to the Philippines. Su said when compared to Thailand, the Philippines welcomed only 16% of the Chinese tourists that entered the country. Thailand received 11-M tourists from China in 2019. Thailand has 2,733 covid cases as of Apr 19.
Meanwhile, the PH received 1.74-M tourists from China in 2019. The PH has 6,087 covid cases as of Apr 19.
Thailand has more Chinese arrivals in 2019 but less cases than the PH and Thailand did not impose a travel ban to CH Jan-Feb 2020.
3. Why the need to declare and declare quarantine very early? Su cited the studies of experts from UP to justify the decision of the Duterte admin in declaring quarantine and do it early.
Projected cases without quarantine:
Up to 1,400,000 cases or more
Projected cases with quarantine:
Up to 9,000-44,000 cases only
4. On critics asking why the Philippines isn’t implementing mass testing like what South Korea has been doing?
Chu said the PH has no manufacturing facility of test kits until April (UP-NIH was approved) compared to S. Korea.
It is impossible for PH to do mass testing for entire population (107-M) but we do a targeted mass testing for suspected cases.
PH did not have the test kits, labs, budget, physicians, etc until it gradually increased its testing capacity from 1 lab (Mar 1) to 18 labs (Apr 18)!
5. Another favorite line of critics is that the Duterte government declared quarantine very late.
Su reasoned that as early as Feb 21, the DOH made a recommendation to PHE ir public health emergency in the event DOH confirms local transmission of Covid-19.
On Mar 7, the DOH confirmed the first case of local transmission in the country. On Mar 8: PRRD signed PP922 state of public health emergency after authorities confirmed local transmissions of Covid-19.
6. When compared to this and that country, the Philippines has more covid cases.
Su said this is not true. The Philippines ranked #38 in the world as of April 19. He also sounded frustrated why critics like to compare the Philippines to countries with few covid cases and not to countries with more cases than the Philippines.
7. Some countries did not impose a community quarantine and yet, they have few reported covid-cases.
Su explained that the citizens of other countries are obedient to their governments. When they are told to practice social distancing, they will do it without hesitation. In addition, heavy penalties are imposed against violators. Su lamented this is the opposite in the Philippines. In fact, in just 30 days of quarantine, 100K Filipinos for violating ECQ. We are not talking yet of those who were not apprehended.
8. On allegations that more PH healthcare workers are casualties of covid because of lack of PPE.
Su said this problem is not unique to the Philippines.
Italy – 4,824 HCW infected (as of Mar24)
Spain – 5,400 HCW infected (as of Mar24)
China – 3,300 HCW infected (as of Apr4)
US – 9,200 HCW infected (as of Apr15)
He added that even before the covid pandemic, we already have problems like lack of budget budget, PPE, medical equipments, and facilities! But since the outbreak, the government have poured millions of PPE’s and supplied medical equipments from procurements and donations! Su ended the paragraph by citing the numbers that constitute the HCW infected which stands at 766 as of Apr16.
9. Stop blaming the public for the rise of covid cases in PH.
Su remarked that the government has imposed measures to stop the spread of covid cases like quarantine, increasing testing capacity and medical equipments in the country, built quarantine facilities, and provided relief goods to the public, especially the poorest of the poor.
However, there are still a portion of the population who go out in public places, caught drinking alcoholic drinks, engaged in illegal cockfights and bingo games, visited their neighbors, not wearing mask and even staged street protest, etc despite the ECQ. An exasperated Su asked who is to blame, the virus?
Source: Eric Clark Su