By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The Philippines Department of Health (DOH) reported 1,531 additional COVID-19 cases today–688 “fresh cases” and 843 “late cases”. This brings the country’s total to 40,336.

The death toll is now 1280 after recording 6 additional deaths.

The Alliance of Health Workers (AHW) said recently that Health Secretary Francisco Duque III should be held accountable for the for his neglect, incompetence, shortcomings and failure in dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak and are calling for his resignation.

AHW national president Robert Mendoza said, “We have been fighting the COVID-19 pandemic for nearly 5 months now, but the DOH and Duterte administration still have no clear and comprehensive plans on how to combat the deadly virus and the health workers’ situation are getting worse”.

Despite the calls for Duque’s resignation, the DOH stands behind him. “We at the Department of Health together with the Secretary will continue with our work”, said Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

“You all know that a lot of criticisms and a lot of bashing is being thrown at DOH,  we still support the Secretary. And, as I’ve said before, there should always be a leader in a unit especially in times of this kind of emergencies, and even if they say this or that, we still support our Secretary”, she said.

Vergeire said she has not heard information about President Rodrigo Duterte waiting for Duque’s resignation.