(Eagle News) — Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said he wants to be remembered as the health secretary who helped the country beat the COVID-19 pandemic.
In an interview with the NET25-Radyo Agila program “Ano Sa Palagay N’yo?”, Duque said this is the second time that he was called to head the Department of Health, but this time, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this was the most challenging so far.
“For one, I am already the pandemic secretary of health. No doubt that is going to be part of the history books,” he told hosts Ali Sotto and Pat Daza during the ASPN interview on Oct. 21.
“But during this time that I am called as the Secretary of Health for the second time around, I want to be remembered as the one who led the DOH in achieving … herd immunity, 70 to 90 percent vaccination coverage,” he said citing the Philippine target for COVID vaccination.
“I want to be remembered also as having led the response in beating the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines,” he said.
“Hopefully as what we see now, the drop in the number of cases will continue, and hopefully, we will avoid another surge in the future,” Duque said.
-Reducing COVID cases, increasing vaccination rate-
The controversial health chief said that he only wants two things — to reduce the number of COVID-19 cases, and to increase the vaccination rate in the country.
“If only for those two things, I think that should be enough to characterize my term, my second term (as DOH chief),” he said during the interview.
And this cannot be done by the Department of Health alone, he said.
A whole of nation and whole of government approach is needed, said the DOH chief who also chairs the Interagency Task Force on COVID-19
“Tuluy-tuloy lang ang trabaho,” he said.
Duque noted the decreasing COVID-19 cases presently in the country, and decline in hospital adminissions, as well as the decreasing COVID positivity rate.
But he said there are “hospitals of choice” that are still dealing with full or nearly full capacity because many people flock to these known hospitals.
Duque said that the country is now at low-risk classification for ICU utilization rate.
(Eagle News Service)