By Analou De Vera
The Department of Health (DOH) on Saturday denied reports that it issued a policy for the non-reporting of coronavirus disease-related deaths.
“We would like to clarify that DOH has never issued any order to stop the census or reporting of deaths, or any case related to COVID-19 to any health facility,” the DOH said in a statement.
“All hospitals and health centers are mandated to report on consultations and/or admission and the status thereof, that fit the COVID-19 case definition,” it added.
The Health department issued the statement after an Instagram post of news anchor Arnold Clavio went viral on social media sites, claiming that a hospital based in Metro Manila was allegedly instructed to stop counting COVID-19 related deaths.
“We have spoken with Mr. Clavio on this matter, and the DOH is currently investigating the allegations made. We will provide updates as soon as we can,” the DOH said.
Meanwhile, the DOH said it is “closely coordinating” with the Interior department and local government units to “ensure that guidelines on the management of the dead are properly followed.”
“Pasig City and Quezon City have already designated crematoriums to address this matter; we encourage other local government units to do the same,” it added.
In a related development, the East Avenue Medical Center (EAMC) in Quezon City said it did not receive such orders.
In a statement, the medical institution said it “has received no directive, order, or statement from the Department of Health Office of the Secretary or the Quezon City Local Government to stop or hold the census and reporting of deaths-related to COVID-19. “
The EAMC said that it is reporting the COVID-19 related deaths to the DOH-Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit.