DOH notes drop in ‘fresh cases,’ says it gives more accurate picture
MANILA, Philippines — With local cases of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) expected to rise in the coming days, the Department of Health (DOH) said the public should take note of the recorded number of “fresh cases” since they provide a “more accurate picture” of the epidemic in the country.
While the national COVID-19 tally increased by 1,046 cases on Friday night, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire pointed out that only 46 of this number are fresh cases, based on test results that came out positive in the last three days.
“Based on the fresh cases, which provide us with a more accurate picture of the situation, we can see that from 109 it has dropped to 46. This drop is a good indication of the current state [of the outbreak] in the country,” Vergeire said in her online press briefing on Saturday.
Just because the confirmed cases spiked to over 16,000 “does not mean that the situation is worsening,” she said.
This was the result of the “aggressive” validation of cases by the DOH’s epidemiology bureau, which shifted to an automated system and has more disease surveillance officers now.
That the number of fresh cases is fewer than Thursday’s is a good indicator of the outbreak, Vergeire said.
“We hope this removes any worry in the public’s mind [on whether the government] made the right decision to transition to a general community quarantine,” she added.
In lifting the 77-day lockdown of Metro Manila, Vergeire said the government was also guided by other standards such as the case and mortality doubling time and the critical care utilization rate.
Before the lockdown on March 16, cases doubled in 2.5 days. Now it took 6.29 days, Vergeire said.
The number of deaths, based on the date when a patient died, is also declining, she said.
Of the 11,972 active cases, 18 are critical and 56 are severe cases.
On Saturday, the DOH reported 590 new cases, pushing the national tally to 17,224. Of the new cases, 252 are fresh cases while 338 are late cases.
The National Capital Region accounted for 380 of the cases, of which 162 are fresh cases.
The total number of recovered patients increased to 3,808 with the recovery of 88 more patients. The death toll rose to 950 as eight patients succumbed to the severe respiratory disease.
The DOH said it would continue to analyze the data to determine if this was due to the “shift in quarantine status or it remains a function of delays in case validation.”
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.