Health expert warns vs. complacency after PH reports no new death due to COVID-19

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(FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 10) -- An infectious disease specialist warned Friday against complacency after the Department of Health recorded no death related to COVID-19 a day earlier.

Dr. Edsel Salvana said the DOH report on Thursday that showed no COVID-19 death for the first time since March 19 could just be "a belated reflection" of the lockdown imposed in most parts of the country for two months and not a manifestation of what is happening now.

“It means the lockdown did its job to prevent massive deaths, which is why we did it,” he said in a post on his Facebook account, noting that deaths in COVID-19 occur on average about six to eight weeks from the time of infection. 

Nevertheless, the specialist still welcomed the development, saying “that's about as positive as news has gotten in a long time.”

The DOH explained no new mortality was announced Thursday because the latest fatality reports submitted to the agency still need validation, including the date and cause of death.

The country’s death toll is at 1,314. Deaths for the past seven days have not exceeded 10.

At least 51,754 COVID-19 infections have been recorded since the disease emerged in Metro Manila five months ago, with 12,813 recoveries.

For a week now, the DOH has been logging over 1,000 cases, with the number of infections hitting a record high of 2,539 on Wednesday.

The agency has said the increase is mainly due to community transmission brought about by increased contact among the population and failure to impose protocols aimed at reducing COVID-19 transmission.

Salvana said “the current surge isn't surprising” as the government continues to loosen movement restrictions to revive the ailing economy.

He added that “more cases will translate to more deaths - they are coming, its just a matter of time. How many will die depends on how well we protect our healthcare system.”

He urged everyone to wear face masks correctly and consistently, keep physical distance, and to disinfect.