More accurate tally of COVID-19 cases sought

Bernadette Herrera

THE Department of Health (DoH) has been urged to update its coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test validation backlog.

Bagong Henerasyon party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera made the appeal in order to give the public a more accurate number of cases of COVID-19.

Herrera said the  government cannot claim that the curve is being flattened without seeing the actual picture and until the backlog in validating COVID-19 cases is cleared.

As of June 15, there are 26,420 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines.

The health department did not update its data on cumulative positive cases, but as of June 13, the positive individuals listed by testing centers have already reached 32,728, meaning there are around 6,000 yet to be confirmed, the solon said.

Herrera said the DOH must exhaust all efforts to address the backlog of confirmed cases as against positive individuals listed by testing centers, especially as most of the country is now under the more relaxed general community quarantine.

She noted that timely assessment and validation of data is instrumental in the formulation of policies by the national and local government.

“There is no way the DOH can provide us a more accurate data on the number of COVID-19 cases in the country if it will not immediately address the gap of confirmed cases versus positive individuals listed by testing centers,” she added.

The DOH has been attributing the disparity to its “long and tedious” case verification and validation process. It also cited other issues that result in the delay, including increased testing capacity leading to more cases for validation.

The lady solon underscored the need for the government to significantly ramp up not only the number of COVID-19 tests, but also the processing and confirmation of results.

She said what is worrisome about the delay in the validation process is that the official numbers being announced by the DOH reflect cases from 5 to 8 days prior.