MANILA - The Department of Health (DOH) has denied rumors that it will report an "artificial rise" in COVID-19 cases days leading up to the May 9 elections.
The DOH, in a statement Saturday, said the false claim is being used to discredit a political candidate and blame the agency for a rise in COVID infections.
"The DOH... uses other metrics such as healthcare utilization to evaluate and recommend to higher authorities whether an escalation or de-escalation of alert levels is warranted," the statement read.
"Instead of spreading unverified information, we can all do our part in preventing further transmission and avoiding further restrictions caused by COVID-19 pandemic," it added.
The DPH earlier in the day said chances are slim that lockdowns will be implemented after the May 9 elections, as some fear a possible COVID-19 surge due to election-related activities.
The Philippines reported 184 new COVID cases on Friday, fewer than 200 cases for the 4th straight day, ABS-CBN Data Analytics head Edson Guido said.
The 8,389 active COVID-19 cases on Friday were the lowest since May 11, 2020, he added.
The DOH earlier warned that Metro Manila could record up to 446,000 COVID-19 cases by mid-May if people violate health protocols, amid election-related activities.