PH with highest COVID-19 cases in SE Asia? DOH cites different ‘settings’
MANILA, Philippines — Comparing the number of coronavirus disease 2019 cases in the Philippines with those of other countries should be made with caution as there are different factors that should be considered in making such a comparison, the Department of Health said Friday.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire made this remark after the Philippines recorded the highest cases of infection in Southeast Asia with a total of 119,460 cases as of Thursday, surpassing Indonesia’s 118,753 reported cases.
“Unang-una para lang maintindihan ng ating mga kababayan, may iba’t ibang settings sa bawat bansa. Iba-iba rin po ang population, hindi po tayo pare-pareho, at ‘yung response natin ay hindi rin po pare-pareho,” Vergeire said in an interview with Unang Hirit.
(So that the public can understand, we have different settings in different countries. The population and our response efforts are also different.)
Nevertheless, Vergeire said the DOH admits that the cases of COVID-19 in the country are really increasing. She assured that the health department is intensifying appropriate interventions to manage the situation and accommodate patients in hospitals.
“Pero pag tiningnan po natin ang cases per million for example. Singapore has about 9,000 plus cases per million and the Philippines only has 1,000 plus per million because of the population factor because Singapore only has a smaller population than the Philippines, kaya nga dapat with caution ang pagkukumpara natin across countries,” she said.
(But if we will look at cases per million, for example, Singapore has about 9,000 plus cases per million and the Philippines only has about 1,000 plus per million because of the population factor, because Singapore has a smaller population than the Philippines, so we should really exercise caution when comparing across countries.)
She said these “considerations” on the different setups in other countries should be taken into account when making comparisons.
But despite her explanation, Vergeire said “it is okay” to compare with cases in other countries “because we are benchmarking that in actual numbers,” we can see that the Philippines really has a high number of COVID-19 cases.
Vergeire also reiterated that the Philippines already has the highest testing capacity for COVID-19 in Southeast Asia. The DOH, in a statement Thursday, said a total of 1,643,539 individuals have been tested for COVID-19 as of August 4, with an average of 28,938 tests per day within the last seven days.
Of the total confirmed cases of the disease in the Philippines, 50,473 are active cases, 66,837 have recovered, and 2,150 have died.
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