Real COVID-19 situation ascertained soon due to increased testing capacity — DOH

Published March 25, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Analou De Vera

The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday said that the real situation regarding the COVID-19 epidemic in the country may be ascertained in the coming days due to the increased testing capacity.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the current trend on the COVID-19 cases could be an “artificial rise.”

Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire (PNA)
Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire (PNA)

“Ngayon po yung mga pumapasok na mga resulta na nailalabas natin sa publiko maari ay hindi timely kumbaga baka dati pa po sila at atin lang hinahabol sa ngayonKaya sinasabi natin it might be an artificial rise,” said Vergeire.

(The test results we are reporting to the public may not be timely as these may be old cases that we are catching up. That is why we are saying that it might be an artificial rise.)

Pag natanggal na po natin ang backlogs makikita na po natin ang totoong mga numero sa pagtaas o di kaya pagbaba ng kaso dito sa ating bansa,” she added.

[If we already addressed the backlogs, then we can see the real rise or fall in the number of cases in the country.]

Follow biosafety requirement

Vergeire also urged local government units –who are planning to set up their own laboratory– to comply first with the biosafety standards set by the DOH.

“We are a regulatory agency–ang DOH poat katungkulan namin na masiguro ang safety and health ng community natin. Ang atin pong mga ginagawang proseso para ma-test ang ating COVID-19 cases sa isang laboratory is highly technical. It has biosafety issues and biosafety risks. Gusto lang natin siguraduhin na maka-comply ang ating mga laboratories,” said Vergeire.

(The DOH is a regulatory agency.  It is our mandate to ensure the safety and health of our communities. The test being done for COVID-19 is highly technical. It involves biosafety issues and risks. We just want our laboratories to comply with the proper standards.)

The DOH said that it will assist the City Government of Marikina in certifying its laboratory testing center for COVID-19.

“We will provide any assistance possible para maka-comply.  Pagkatapos noon, maari na silang mag-operate kung maka-comply na sila,” said Vergeire.

[We will provide any assistance possible for them to be able to comply. After that, they can already operate.]