Health Secretary says ‘Puerto Rico is illuminated’ and alleges COVID-19 peak has passed
To date, at least 107 people have died from the disease
SAN JUAN – The Secretary of the Department of Health, Lorenzo González Feliciano, said on Friday that the peak period of COVID-19 infections in Puerto Rico has passed, although it is still important to maintain individual preventive measures and those implemented by the government.
“Despite all the crises it has had, we are illuminated. Whoever believes that this is false does not live in Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is illuminated. We have a lot of crises and we pulled ourselves out, and the blow is powerful but we got up,” González Feliciano said in a radio interview (WKAQ).
Upon assuming the leadership of the department in late March, the official had indicated that the peak period of infections on the island would be between May 4 and 8.
“Categorically, yes [the peak has passed]. We have to look prospectively at how we transform and modify the quarantine process. The governor will receive input from the Health Department, from the other secretaries, particularly the [Economic Development Department’s], to see how we continue our country’s normalization process. What we see today is something that should give us a certain sense of tranquility and a little bit of peace but not let our guard down,” he said.
He said that between Monday and Wednesday this week there were no deaths, while on Thursday three were reported and five on Friday.
“We have remained stable in terms of the infection process. We continue to monitor this,” he explained, indicating that the data indicate the transmission rate is currently between 4 and 5 percent.
However, the official said that does not mean that the social distancing measures implemented by the government will be lifted, precisely to contain the spread.
“People have to do the right thing. It is our country. We have to do the right thing to see if we…see a beautiful Christmas this year and we can celebrate,” the official added.
The figures released by the department on Friday showed 107 deaths from the disease and 2,156 cases on the island to date.