The Philippines' imposition of an enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila to control the spread of COVID-19 has served the region well enough that it's better off than some cities in the United States and Europe, the chief implementer of the national policy versus the coronavirus said on Friday.
"Marami po ang nag-sasabi na hindi nakatulong ang ating sinagawang ECQ o 'yung lockdown. Ngunit ang sinasabi ko po ngayon, tignan po natin ang mga datos, hindi po nag-sisinungaling ang mga datos," Secretary Carlito Galvez said.
"Tignan na lang po natin ang ibang highly populated areas sa ibang bansa na tinamaan din ng COVID-19," he added.
Galvez said the National Capital Region, with a population of 16.5 million, had only reported 842 deaths while Lombardy in Italy, with a population of 10 million, had reported 32,330 fatalities.
"Ang New York state naman po na nasa 19 million... 61,000 na po ang kanilang naitalang mga deaths. At nakikita natin, patuloy ang US, libo-libo ang namamatay sa kanila," Galvez said.
Both western countries were heavily affected by the virus.
In Southeast Asia, the Philippines has reported the most COVID-19 deaths after Indonesia with 857 and 1,326, respectively, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Malaysia, the next Southeast Asian country with the most fatalities, had only reported 115.
Vietnam, despite a long and porous border with China, has recorded just 268 virus cases and zero deaths, according to official tallies.
Galvez said the country now has an average of 250 new cases per day despite the more than 11,000 daily tests conducted.
"Bagamat masasabi natin na naging epektibo ang programa ng ating bansa sa COVID-19, hindi tayo puwede mag kumpiyansa," Galvez said.
"Disiplina pa rin ang ating kailangan dahil may responsibilidad po tayo, hindi lang sa ating mga sarili kundi sa ating mga pamilya at sa ibang kasamahan na nakapaligid po sa atin," he added.
The Philippines has reported a total of 13,597 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 857 fatalities and 3,092 recoveries. -NB, GMA News