MANILA, Sept 8 (Mabuhay) — President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday declared that the Philippines has “flattened the curve” in its campaign against the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

“We had obedience and people followed that meant a lot and contributed to what is happening now that there’s a flattening of cases,” Duterte said on Monday night.

“Yung local government also played a vital role in the [enforcement] of anti-virus measures. I salute you for doing your duty very well,” he added.

An expert from the University of the Philippines earlier said the Metro Manila and Calabarzon had flattened the curve after the reproduction number in the two regions dropped below 1.

The reproduction number refers to the average number of people that one COVID-19 patient can infect.

“The value right now in NCR is 0.94, so less than 1 na siya. Last week it was 0.99, so we’re definitely seeing [a] flattening of the curve in NCR and Calabarzon,” Professor Guido David said on Sunday.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III also said that new COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila fell by 35 percent.

A total of 24,517 new cases were recorded between August 24 and September 6, around 10,000 cases less than the 35,040 infections logged from August 10 to 30.

Duque credited the decrease in transmission to the two-week modified enhanced community quarantine.

“Halos lahat po ito (Metro Manila cities) talagang nagbabaan ang kanila pong mga kaso.. Nakatulong po ito sa pagbawas ng contact rate, transmission rate,” he said.

‘Immunity of the poor’

Duterte touted the country’s total recoveries recorded at 184,906 as of Monday, which he said could be due to the climate or the constitution of a person’s body.

“Filipinos we have more antibodies. ‘Wag ho kayong mainsulto kasi totoo naman, pero wala akong nakitang squatter na tinamaan,” he said.

“Sa Davao, nagtanong ako sa mga bata, sabi nila, ano yan? Nary a care about COVID.

Ito yung lumaki sa ano, all these years form infancy to how old they are now, hinigop nilang lahat ang kagaw kaya nagkaroon sila ng panlaban,”  he added.

But the chief executive said that the people should not be too complacent about the virus.

“Do not be too complacent about it just because you have the antibodies. You may have an advantage but the law of averages always take its toll. Malay mo, matamaan ka talaga,” Duterte said. (MNS)

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