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DOH explains: Only 109 of record-high 539 COVID-19 patients were ‘fresh cases’

/ 05:49 PM May 29, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Only 109 of the record-high 539 COVID-19 cases recorded last Thursday were fresh cases while the rest of the patients were part of the case backlog, the Department of Health (DOH) clarified.

According to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, the high number was a result of DOH finishing the validation of laboratory results which were released last week but were submitted late.

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“Out of these 539 cases, 109 lamang po ang fresh cases.  Ang fresh cases ay mga kasong kakalabas lamang po ng laboratory results sa loob ng tatlong araw na nakalipas,” Vergeire said in the DOH briefing on Friday.

(Out of these 539 cases, only 109 are considered fresh cases, which are the cases that just came out from the laboratory results within the past three days.)

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“Sila ngayon ay kino-contact trace, ina-isolate, at tini-treat na rin po natin.  Ang balanse na mahigit kumulang na apat na daan ay mga late cases o ang mga kaso na ang resulta ay lumabas na noong nakaraan pang linggo, pero kahapon lang po na-submit ang mga laboratory results nila kaya kahapon lang din po na-validate ng epidemiology bureau ng DOH,” she added.

(They are now being traced, isolated, and treated. The balance of 400 cases are late cases or those whose results have been released since last week, but laboratory results of which were only submitted and validated by the DOH’s epidemiology bureau yesterday.)

Vergeire added that the same issue occurs on the number of patients who died from the disease, especially since some of the deaths shown on Thursday’s data died over a month ago.

“Sa mga namatay naman, 17 ang nireport natin kahapon. Pero hindi ibig sabihin nito kahapon lamang sila namatay […] iba po sa kanila ay Marso at Abril pa namatay,” she noted.

(For the deaths due to COVID, we reported 17 yesterday. But this does not mean that they just died yesterday, some of them actually died last March and April.)

“Pinapakita ng graph ang patuloy na pagbaba ng mga namamatay dahil sa COVID-19. Kung ang pagbabasihan ay date of death at hindi date reported. Naitala ang pinaka-maraming namatay noong March 31 kung saan 30 ang namatay,” she stressed.

(The graph shows that the number of deaths due to COVID-19 continues to drop if we would base it on the date of death and not on the date it was reported. The highest number of deaths was recorded last March 31, with 31 casualties.)

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DOH’s explanation came after critics chided the government’s decision to place Metro Manila and other areas under a modified general community quarantine despite the highest single-day jump of cases since the latest coronavirus strain reached the Philippines.

They maintained that it is contrary to the public health experts’ view that the country is finally flattening the COVID-19 curve.

As of Thursday, health authorities said there are now 15,588 COVID-19 patients in the Philippines due to 539 new cases — the record-highest single-day increase recorded since the coronavirus reached the country.

At least 921 of the patients have died while 3,598 have recovered.

Worldwide, there are now 5.705 million cases, with 355,934 people dead and 2.360 million patients-recoveries.

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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TAGS: 2019 Novel Coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, case backlog, COVID-19, COVID-19 Testing, Department of Health, DoH, flattening the curve, laboratory results, lockdown, mass testing, MECQ, MGCQ, modified enhanced community quarantine, modified general community quarantine, nCoV update, Philippine news updates, record-high 539 COVID-19 cases, Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire
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