DOH asks public not to misinterpret top officials' statements

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 05 2020 10:46 AM | Updated as of Aug 05 2020 12:45 PM

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MANILA — The Department of Health said Wednesday it was encountering difficulty in dispelling misinformation on the coronavirus pandemic and advised the public to refrain from misinterpreting information from top leaders. 

“Our job has always been challenging from the start and it’s really hard to dispel misinformation,” said DOH Spokesperson and Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

“It’s really a challenge to give correct information to the general public especially in times where a lot of people are trying to issue different statements, information are all over, evidences are all over and people are interpreting differently.” 

The agency recently clarified that kerosene is not safe to be used for disinfection after President Rodrigo Duterte urged the public twice to disinfect their anti-virus masks with the substance.

DOH Secretary Francisco Duque also had to take back his comments that the Philippines was on the second wave of the pandemic and had flattened the curve in April. 

“We should not be misinterpreting whatever our senior officials are saying. They might be saying something that has been misinterpreted by the public or the media,” said Vergeire. 

Duterte has placed some 27 million people in Metro Manila and 4 surrounding provinces under stricter lockdown to contain coronavirus infections that surged past the 100,000-mark this weekend.