DOH: Disinfection, recalibration of labs cause ‘artificial’ drop in COVID-19 cases on Mondays, Tuesdays
MANILA, Philippines — An “artificial” decline of new COVID-19 cases may be observed on Mondays and Tuesdays due to non-operational laboratories over the weekend, the Department of Health (DOH) said.
According to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, some laboratories normally close on Sundays for disinfection and recalibration of their equipment, thus, affecting COVID-19 numbers in the following days.
“Nakikita naman natin na kapag sinuma mo for the past two weeks, makikita mo na medyo bumababa ang average natin, but we have to be careful in interpretation kasi may mga artificial declines tayo during Mondays and Tuesdays ng ating mga cases,” she said in an online press briefing Wednesday.
(We are indeed seeing a lower average number of cases in the past two weeks, but we have to be careful in interpretation because there are artificial declines on Mondays and Tuesdays.)
“So hindi pa natin masabi ngayon kung conclusive ‘yan para makapagsabi na bumababa na ang mga kaso,” she added.
(So we cannot say that the cases have gone down.)
On Sunday, April 18, there were 19 non-operational laboratories and four non-reporting laboratories, according to Vergeire.
She also said that April 20’s data of over 7,000 new COVID-19 cases was an “artificial” fall because some non-operational laboratories were not able to report results to be included in that day’s statistics.
“Artificial ‘yung mga pagbaba. Hindi pa rin natin nakikita sa ngayon, so let’s have some more days, maybe next week tingnan natin, masasabi natin na ito na talaga ang epekto ng ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) and MECQ (modified ECQ) na ginagawa natin,” the health official added.
(The decrease is artificial. We cannot see the decrease in cases yet. Let’s wait for some more days, maybe next week, for us to say we are seeing the effects of the ECQ and MECQ.)
On Wednesday, DOH reported 9,227 new COVID-19 cases raising total coronavirus active infections in the country to 116,434. The health agency has documented a sum of 962,307 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic hit Philippine shores in 2020.
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