Lacson: DOH’s limitation on handling COVID-19 may lead to ‘wrong decisions’ on easing quarantine
MANILA, Philippines — The government’s decision on whether or not to ease quarantine restrictions should be based on “sound data” and not just that of the Department of Health (DOH), “whose limitations in handling data may potentially lead to wrong decisions,” according to Senator Panfilo Lacson on Monday.
“I hope the finer details of the decision to ease the quarantine restrictions would be based on sound data, and not just that of the Department of Health, whose limitations in handling data may potentially lead to wrong decisions. After all, we all do want to stay alive even during a lockdown,” he said in a statement.
Lacson said he supports the idea of allowing business activities to resume even on a limited scale, as long as physical distancing and other health protocols are strictly observed by the public and enforced by authorities.
“Considering that the economy is reeling from a prolonged lockdown which directly affects not only individual and family income but the country’s revenue collections as well, thus draining the coffers like an open faucet, it is wise for our policymakers to ease up the restrictions currently being imposed,” he said.
DOH explained that the “long and tedious” process of verification, as well as lack of personnel ensuring the accuracy of data, are among the reasons for the gap between the number of persons who had tested positive for the disease and reported confirmed cases.
Earlier, the University of the Philippines COVID-19 pandemic response team also pointed out inconsistencies in the data on COVID-19 patients ranging from changes in gender to patients recorded as dead but are actually alive.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III however said that this inconsistency in the data raised by UP experts is only less than one percent of the whole data on COVID-19 and “does not prejudice the overall data and decision making.”
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