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PH battle vs virus may linger until January sans intervention — DoH  

VERGEIRE
VERGEIRE
VERGEIRE

By BETHEENA UNITE

The Philippines’ battle against the COVID-19 may continue in the next months or worst, until January next year, if proper interventions would not be in place, the Department of Health said yesterday.

Citing studies by scientists and mathematicians, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during the “Laging Handa” press briefing that the coronavirus pandemic may carry on for six to 12 months if the country fails to implement counter measures.

“Ang ating mga estimation galing sa ating scientists, mathematicians ngakaroon po tayo ng tatlong modeling estimates na ginawa kung saan ang timeline range hanggang third quarter of the year and maybe worst case scenario, batay sa kanilang pagkakaaral. ay next year po ng January,” Vergeire said.

“But these are all estimations at ito’y mangyayari kung wala tayong gagawing interventions,” the Health official added.

While vaccines being developed in other countries could help to end the global health crisis, she said it would take six to 12 months before a vaccine is out in the market.

The country needs to religiously practice the non-pharmaceutical measures to prevent further transmission.

“The vaccines would take about maybe six to 12 months or maybe one year to one- and-a-half years before they become available that is why we are implementing measures that have been working in other countries like social distancing, avoiding of mass gatherings, and frequent washing of hands. These are non-pharmaceutical interventions that must be done to prevent transmission,” Vergeire said.

Meanwhile,  nine overseas Filipino nurses have tested positive for COVID-19 in Germany, Philippine Ambassador to Berlin Ma. Theresa de Vega said confirmed yesterday.

De Vega said the nine Filipino nurses who are serving as frontliners in Germany’s battle against the pandemic are now undergoing treatment in various hospitals there.

“At present, we are monitoring nine individuals, all of them are frontliners, Filipino nurses who are working here in Germany who are positive for COVID,” the Filipino diplomat said.

De Vega, however, said that while most of the patients are experiencing only mild symptoms, two of the nurses are “asymptomatic.”

She said the two asymptomatic patients are just waiting for their quarantine period to end to enable them to undergo another round of tests by health authorities in Germany. (With a report from Roy Mabasa)

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