MANILA (UPDATE) — The Department of Health reported only 294 additional COVID-19 cases on Thursday because of a change in the data process.
This brings the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country to 38,805.
The DOH attributed the relatively fewer new cases recorded to a change in the “extraction time”, or the time at which the agency’s Epidemiology Bureau (EB) extracts the testing data from their system.
The last time the country only had around 200 additional cases in a day was on June 5 when the DOH reported 244.
“Mababa ang bilang ng reported cases natin na ito, maaaring dahil nag-adjust tayo ng oras kung kailan natin ine-extract galing sa DOH Epidemiology Bureau ang datos mula po sa COVIDKaya system,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a televised briefing, referring to the government’s centralized data system for COVID-19 cases.
(This number of reported cases is low, probably because the DOH Epidemiology Bureau adjusted the time when they extract data from the COVIDKaya system.)
“Mula sa dati na 24 hours, 19 hours worth of data lamang ang mga numero natin ngayon dahil nga po tayo ay nagbago ng proseso,” she added.
(From 24 hours, the data we have now is only worth 19 hours because we changed our process.)
“Ito po ay upang mabigyan ang ating Epidemiology Bureau ng mas mahabang oras na gumawa ng in-depth analysis ng mga datos na inilalabas po natin.”
(This will give our Epidemiology Bureau more time to conduct in-depth analysis on the data that we are releasing.)
Vergeire said it will just be a “temporary adjustment” that will allow government to release more insightful and timely data in the coming days.
She also said that out of the 72 laboratories, only 58 or 81% were able to submit their list of test results.
Of the additional cases, 52 are “fresh cases” and 242 are “late cases.”
Fresh cases refer to those whose test results were released within the last 3 days, while late cases are those whose results were released four days ago or earlier.
Of the fresh cases, 10 are from the National Capital Region (NCR), 17 identified as repatriated Filipinos, and 25 tagged as “Others.” Others may refer to cases from outside NCR and those without location data.
“Wala po tayong naitalang kaso mula sa Region 7 sa araw na ito,” Vergeire said.
(We do not have any recorded cases from Region 7 today.)
Of the late cases, 50 are from NCR, 164 are tagged as “Others”, and 28 are repatriates.
There was also no separate breakdown for Region 7, which includes the emerging COVID-19 hotspots Cebu province and Cebu City.
Cebu City remains under the stricter enhanced community quarantine as the number of new cases there rose in the past days.
Vergeire said that critical care facilities in Cebu province and Cebu City are now at critical level.
The DOH also reported 235 new recovered patients for Thursday, or a total of 10,673 recoveries.
There were also 4 new COVID-related deaths, or a total of 1,274 fatalities.
Although not mentioned during the briefing, DOH data analyzed by the ABS-CBN Data Analytics Team showed that testing backlogs rose to 9,382, partly due to a new laboratory, which has 5,807 backlogs.
Worldwide, there have been 10.69 million people infected with COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, according to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus dashboard. Of those, 5.48 million have already recovered while 516,000 have died.