DOH insists new system on COVID-19 recoveries tag backed by science
MANILA, Philippines — The implementation of “time-based tagging” in declaring COVID-19 patients as recovered is based on scientific evidence and international standards, the Department of Health (DOH) said Friday as doubts were raised following a sudden surge in the number of recoveries in the country.
“This is based on evidence, scientific evidence and experts across the globe are already backing this up. It’s now being implemented in different countries,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told reports in an online media forum.
On Thursday, DOH announced a record-breaking single-day increase in recoveries of COVID-19 patients at 38,075, boosting the country’s total recovery count to 65,064.
According to DOH, this huge increase was because of the “enhanced data reconciliation efforts with local government units through Oplan Recovery.”
Under the scheme, mild and asymptomatic cases will be tagged as recovered after they complete the mandatory 14-day quarantine from the time they first start showing symptoms of COVID-19, or their samples are collected for testing.
The steep rise in recoveries sparked doubts and drew questions from the public on how DOH handles critical COVID-19 data.
Former Senator and now Sorsogon Gov. Francis “Chiz” Escudero questioned the “mass recovery adjustment” and joined calls for the resignation of DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III.
“After recording the highest one-day COVID-19 positive new cases of 3,954, the Department of Health reports a 38,075 ‘mass recovery adjustment’ to include mild/asymptomatic cases,” Escudero said in a Facebook post.
“This is ‘only in the Philippines’ and is intolerable and insulting! PRRD: Sir, please fire Sec. Duque! You/we/I deserve better po!” he added.
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