DOH notes decrease in samples submitted for COVID-19 testing
MANILA, Philippines — Laboratories are receiving a lower number of samples for COVID-19 testing, contributing to the decrease of new COVID-19 cases being reported in the country, the Department of Health (DOH) said Saturday.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the concern of the DOH now is no longer on the non-submission of test results by laboratories but on the low number of samples being received by laboratories. She noted that laboratories are now submitting test results regularly.
“Sa ngayon nakita natin for these past weeks, bumaba ang mga samples na ipinapasa ng mga implementing units natin sa ating labortoryo kaya nakikita natin na bumababa rin ang mga kaso,” she said during the Laging Handa public briefing.
(For these past weeks, there is a decrease in number of samples being submitted by implementing units to laboratories that’s why we are also seeing a decrease in cases.)
Vergeire said the DOH is trying to observe if the decrease in the number of cases is because the rate of infection is going down or if the samples being tested are not enough to see the real picture of the COVID-19 situation in the country.
According to Vergeire, samples that were tested from April 23 to 29 were at 374,000. However from April 30 to May 6, this has gone down to 342,000, or a difference of -9 percent from the preceding week.
She added that the number of individuals tested for the coronavirus also decreased by 10 percent.
“So kapag tinignan natin in the whole, kailangan ma-analyze maagi if this really, [‘yung] pagbaba ng samples sa pagsubmit is because mababa na ang nakikita natin na dapat itest sa ating mga communities o hindi lang talaga natetest ‘yung iba sa komunidad,” Vergeire explained.
(If we will look at it as a whole, we should analyze if this decrease in the number of samples submitted is because there is a low number of people who need COVID-19 testing or we are not just testing enough people in the communities.)
The country currently has 66,626 active COVID-19 cases, including 7,733 additional infections reported on Friday—the fifth consecutive day that the country registered a daily rise in coronavirus cases below 8,000.
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