DOH: 8,500 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday an ‘artificial decline’
MANILA, Philippines — The 8,571 new COVID-19 cases reported on Tuesday were only an “artificial decline” of additional infections due to non-operational laboratories as the number of average daily cases in the country still ranges at 10,000 to 11,000, the Department of Health (DOH) said Wednesday.
According to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, there were 36 testing laboratories that did not operate on Sunday, affecting the COVID-19 numbers being reported by the DOH.
“Ang kaso natin yesterday was at 8,500 plus, and ‘yung mga kaso na ito at ang medyo pagbaba ng kaso is an artificial decline dahil noong Linggo, ang non-operational labs totalled to 36. So meron tayong 36 na non-operational labs and it has affected the number of cases that we have been able to detect and was able to report yesterday,” Vergeire said in an online press briefing.
(Yesterday we recorded over 8,500 new cases. The slight decrease in cases is an artificial decline because there were 36 non-operational laboratories last Sunday. So we had 36 non-operational laboratories which have affected the number of cases that we have been able to detect and report yesterday.)
She explained that the effects of the two-week enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila and the neighboring provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, and Bulacan, which lapsed on April 4, have yet to be observed in the COVID-19 data.
“The effects of this ECQ for the NCR Plus bubble maybe can be reflected already sa isang linggo siguro or the following week because we know that the incubation period of this virus is 14 days. So mag-uumpisa tayo ng bilang doon sa unang araw ng ECQ natin at pahaba or longer going into these weeks,” she added.
(The effects of this ECQ for the NCR Plus bubble may be reflected already in a week or in the following week because we know that the incubation period of this virus is 14 days. So we will count from the first day of ECQ or longer going into these weeks.)
According to Vergeire, testing laboratories need to close at least once a week to decontaminate machines. She said the DOH is also urging the closure of laboratories from the current 24 hours to only 12 hours.
Meanwhile, Vergeire also said that the COVID-19 infection clusters are still in communities, although the health department has observed an increase in clusters in workplaces, particularly in hospitals, offices, and other institutions.
The new cases reported on Tuesday brought the country’s total COVID-19 cases so far to 884,783, composed of 165,534 active cases, 703,963 recoveries, and 15,286 deaths.
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