MANILA--Scores of coronavirus cases previously reported as recoveries turned out to be deaths after final validation, the Department of Health (DOH) said Saturday.
In its latest bulletin, the DOH also reclassified 2 recoveries as active cases, which means the patients remain infected by the novel coronavirus that causes the respiratory illness.
The agency previously explained that the discrepancy was due to the continuing validation process, in which some cases could be duplicates or erroneous entries.
Some cases will be removed from the nationwide tally after validation with the Regional Epidemiology & Surveillance Unit (RESU) or local government units (LGUs), the DOH had said.
"If a case has a similar sounding name or exactly the same name but other data such as age, sex, or address are different, we report them first and then remove them when the LGU or RESU has provided us the information that these are duplicates,” it added.
From June 12 to August 21, the agency removed more than 4,000 cases from the COVID-19 tally after they turned out to be duplicates and encoding errors.
"We are continuously enhancing our processes of tagging recoveries and deaths, and we have strongly reminded our LGUs of the need to immediately report deaths and ensure that details of deaths are complete, as well as update cases who have already recovered so that we can improve our reporting of recoveries and deaths,” the agency told ABS-CBN News about the discrepancy.
On August 24, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the agency had cleared its backlog in the validation of coronavirus cases, which led to the removal of thousands of duplicates.
"We are now better able to clean our data since we’ve started creating this data management unit," she said at the time.
Vergeire said the agency has always been "transparent" and the numbers reported in the daily bulletin were "accurate."
The Philippines currently has 119 licensed laboratories capable of conducting coronavirus tests.
On Saturday, the country's coronavirus tally reached 257,863, with 4,935 new infections reported. The tally includes 4,292 fatalities, 187,116 recoveries and 66,455 active cases.