COVID-19: ‘Mass recovery’ tagging now daily in bid to address skewed data, says DOH

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 21 2021 07:22 PM | Updated as of Apr 21 2021 07:26 PM

Video courtesy of Department of Health

MANILA — The Department of Health on Wednesday said it is now making daily its weekly “mass recovery” tagging of mild and asymptomatic COVID-19 cases. 

“For the longest time since we started with this time-based tagging of recoveries, nakita natin that every Sunday natin lang naibibigay ang malaking porsyento ng nakaka-recover sa sakit na ito,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a virtual briefing. 

(For the longest time since we started with this time-based tagging of recoveries, we’ve seen that it’s only every Sunday there’s a large percentage of people being reported as having recovered from the disease.)

“Parang nasu-skew yung numbers natin, because this is a one-time uploading; every 7 days saka tayo naga-upload. Nasu-skew yung analysis natin,” she added.

(It skews the numbers because of the one-time uploading every 7 days. It’s skewing the analysis.)

The DOH’s time-based tagging of recoveries or mass recovery program refers to the automatic tagging of mild and asymptomatic cases as recoveries after 14 days in isolation. It started last year and was done every Sunday to reduce backlogs.

It resulted in a spike in recoveries reported every weekend.

This week, the country has been logging several thousands of new recoveries per day with the adoption of the daily "mass recovery" tagging system.

Vergeire said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III himself instructed the agency to make the time-based tagging daily.

She said they started on Monday, resulting in the announcement of more than 9,000 additional recoveries.

“Ngayon, ang question, bakit ang laki pa rin? Basically, kasi tumataaas ang kaso and most of the cases are mild and asymptomatic. So, marami pong makaka-recover,” she explained.

(Now the question is, why are the numbers still high? Basically because cases have been increasing, and most of the cases are mild and asymptomatic. So many are recovering.)

The Philippines has seen a surge in cases starting March this year, even surpassing the peak last year. Most of the new cases are reportedly from Metro Manila and nearby provinces.