DOH: Lack of test kits behind ‘underreporting’ of COVD-19 cases
MANILA, Philippines — The lack of sufficient testing supplies might have led to an “unintentional underreporting” of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the Philippines, the Department of Health (DOH) admitted Monday.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III issued the statement after Sen. Panfilo Lacson claimed over the weekend that the DOH might have “underreported” COVID-19 cases “albeit unintentionally.”
“He said there is a possibility of underreporting, although unintentionally. That’s the statement of Senator Lacson,” Duque said a press briefing in Malacañang.
“This is largely because of our limited testing supplies. As soon as we get more, we will be able to expand the coverage of who will be tested.”
Health officials reported four new coronavirus cases late Sunday night, pushing the Philippines’ total infection to 10.
But in a press briefing Monday afternoon, the number of confirmed cases in the country doubled to 20 as the DOH announces 10 more cases.
During a Senate inquiry, the Research Institute on Tropical Medicine (RITM) said the Philippines only has around 2,000 test kits for COVID-19.
The World Health Organization has already vowed to send more test kits to help the RITM and DOH to fast track testing of specimens.
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