‘Panalo na naman tayo’: Filipinos recall Roque’s ‘Congratulations Philippines’ as COVID-19 cases exceed 60K

July 16, 2020 - 7:09 PM
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This July 14, 2020 photo shows presidential spokesperson Harry Roque during a press briefing. (Harry Roque/Twitter)

As the Philippines breached the sixty thousandth-mark of total coronavirus cases in the third week of July, the previous exclamations of presidential spokesperson Harry Roque surfaced on social media.

The Department of Health on Thursday afternoon announced that the national total of people infected with COVID-19 has reached 61,266.

A total of 38,183 of these are active cases, in which 1,246 were classified as “fresh” or were detected in the last three days. The other 1,252 were “late” cases or those considered as backlogs.

Recoveries also increased to 21,440 but the fatality count jumped to 1,643 with the addition of 29 deaths.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Wednesday said that the country has “successfully flattened the curve since April” but he later clarified his remarks and said that the epidemiological curve was only “bent” during that period.

The country has been seeing a surge of the COVID-19 cases following the easing of community quarantine measures in a bid to boost the economy.

Following the latest announcement of DOH, some Filipinos took to social media to express their sentiments and insights about the sixty thousand breach and recalled Malacañang’s words about supposedly beating the state university’s prediction before.

“Pano ba yan Spox Harry Roque? Panalo na naman tayo! We beat the UP prediction. Wala pang end ng July, 60K na cases natin. Congratulations, Philippines! #MassTestingNowPH,” a Twitter user wrote. 

“July 16 pa lang more than 60K na. Masaya na naman si Roque. Mali nanaman ang UP. Dapat end of July pa ang 60K,” another online user said.

“Whopping 60k my friends. Congratulations, Roque,” a Filipino wrote sarcastically.

A Twitter user even likened the matter to a series of matches in an imagined game.

Two weeks ago, Roque exclaimed that the Philippines has supposedly beaten the prediction of the University of the Philippines that the country might have 40,000 cases by the end of June, based on the virus’ reproduction number.

On June 30, the country logged a national total of 37,513 COVID-19 cases but data from the DOH indicated that 46,335 individuals have already tested positive of the virus, although the figures weren’t validated yet.

However, insights from a data analyst and a statistician affiliated with UP’s COVID-19 Pandemic Response Team were different.

RELATED: Are we winning the battle vs COVID-19? Data from experts dispute Roque’s ‘we won’ claim

Despite the criticisms, Roque stood by his remarks and even said that he would “keep doing it every month.”

“I don’t care about the critics. I’ll keep doing it every month because people should be reminded that although UP forecasts are mathematical models, we can still control the situation,” he said before.

Researchers from UP and the University of Santo Tomas previously predicted that the number of COVID-19 cases could soar “to more than 60,000 COVID-19 cases by July 31, with 1,300 deaths.”

The projection was based on the lower end of the estimated 60,000 to 70,000 cases.

“Based on the current number of cases in the Philippines (including uncategorized cases) and assuming the trends continue, this projects to more than 60,000 COVID-19 cases by July 31, with 1,300 deaths,” the experts said.