DOH counts suspect, probable COVID-19 deaths as confirmed cases

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 26 2020 08:35 PM

Funeral service workers wearing protective gear carry a citizen who died while being investigated for COVID-19 symptoms, at a crematorium specifically dealing with coronavirus cases in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines 25 March 2020. Rolex Dela Peña, EPA-EFE

MANILA - Suspect and probable COVID-19 fatalities or those without a confirmed positive test will now be included in the nationwide death tally, the Department of Health (DOH) said Friday, in an effort to gauge the true toll of the outbreak.

"'Yung mga suspect, probable COVID-19 patients na namatay habang naghihintay ng results nila are going to be considered as confirmed case when they are handled," said Dr. Beverly Lorraine Ho, DOH director for health promotion and communication service.

Those exhibiting symptoms of respiratory illness, with travel history and exposure to a COVID-19 patient are considered suspect cases while patients without confirmed diagnosis are tagged as probable cases.

Ho said there was insufficient evidence that testing those who died from possible coronavirus infection would yield high results.

"In general, hindi rin po namin nire-recommend ang post-mortem testing para sa COVID-19 suspect or pag-test after nila pumanaw dahil wala pong sapat na ebidensiya na mataas 'yung magiging yield no'ng kanilang test," she said.

The nationwide death toll stood at 1,224, with 12 new fatalities reported on Friday.

Ho said they were also coordinating with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and localities to ensure adequate funerary services.

"So far, wala tayong nakukuhang reports na nagkakaproblema pa tayo dito," she said.