DOH: Actual number of COVID-19 cases may be higher than reported tally
MANILA, Philippines — The actual number of individuals who contracted COVID-19 in the country could be higher than what is being reported, the Department of Health (DOH) said.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the daily reported cases of COVID-19 do not include those who tested positive using antigen tests, which is now being used by most Filipinos.
“Itong antigen tests na ito ay hindi pa naisasama sa ating talaan ng reported cases. That’s why we’re saying na baka mas marami pa ‘yung mga may infection kaysa doon sa nairereport,” she said in an interview over One News on Wednesday.
(The antigen tests are not included in the reported cases. That’s why we’re saying that people who got infected may be higher than those reported.)
She added that there are also persons who choose not to get tested anymore and instead just go into isolation.
Only included in the tally are test results using RT-PCR tests, which Vergeire said is the golden standard for determining COVID-19 infections.
The Philippines is averaging 78,000 RT PCR tests per day, she said.
The health official explained that antigen tests should only be used in specific settings and if administered wrongly, these usually give false readings or false results.
“Kaya hindi natin basta basta isinasama sa talaan, kailangan vinavalidate pa ng national government,” Vergeire said.
(That’s why we don’t include the results in the tally. These have to be validated by the national government.)
Antigen tests should only be used for symptomatic people who have a known exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 case, Vergeire said. These should not be used for screening or for asymptomatic people, she added.
As of Jan. 12, the Philippines has 208,164 active COVID-19 cases after 32,246 more people were reported to have been infected.
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