PH's coronavirus tally more accurate with more labs reporting on time, claims DOH

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 21 2020 03:30 PM

People wearing face masks pass in front of a mall in Manila on September 08, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — Most laboratories running COVID-19 tests are now able to submit their reports on time and are no longer causing problems with the country’s daily tally of cases, the Department of Health said Monday.

“Itong ating mga laboratory submissions, nakita natin in the past days talagang naka-cope na (We saw in the past days that we have been able to cope in terms of our laboratory submissions). And we are able to receive most of these backlogs from the laboratories already,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a virtual briefing.

Vergeire said the COVID-19 cases being reported daily are no longer due to laboratories trying to catch up with their delayed test results. Earlier this month, the DOH warned of a “irregularly high number” of cases in the following days as laboratories had to deal with mandatory entries in patient forms. This led to many laboratories failing to submit their results in time.

During the 1st week of September, COVID-19 cases in the country went down to the 1,000 to 2,000 level. However, it went back up again to around 3,000 by the 2nd week.

“Maaaring malaking porsyento galing din po sa labas ng National Capital Region,” Vergeire said when asked about the large number of cases. “Pero syempre tinitignan pa rin natin. We are trying to analyze the numbers right now.”

(Perhaps a large percentage of these are from outside the National Capital Region. But of course we need to check. We are trying to analyze the numbers right now.)

Vergeire said that from September 7 to 20, 2020, 43% of the newly-announced COVID-19 cases in the Philippines were from the National Capital Region.

She said they are still studying if the current number of cases is an accurate reflection of the actual COVID-19 situation in the country.