Confirmed COVID-19 cases to 'artificially rise' in following days as gov't cuts backlog: DOH


Posted at Mar 22 2020 06:09 PM

MANILA - The Department of Health advised the public on Sunday to expect the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to "skyrocket" in the coming days as health authorities expand testing and reduce backlog.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the expected spike in confirmed cases was an "artificial rise" because the government was increasing it testing capacity.

"So ito pong mga darating na araw, alam ko pong ikakagulat ng marami itong biglang pagtaas ng mga kaso natin. Ito ay sa kadahilanang marami na po tayong mailalabas na test results, at ito po sa kadahilanang ang ating testing capacity ay na-expand na po," Vergeire said in a press briefing.

She said that besides the higher number of testing kits that will become available, the Health Department has also added laboratories that can perform the test.

The number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines climbed to 380, as 73 new patients were recorded, the DOH said Sunday. Six more people died from the disease, raising the toll to 25, while the number of patients who recovered increased to 17.