Doctors with NTF call out DOH to work on backlogs, clearer communication

Published May 31, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

National Task Force (NTF) for COVID-19 special adviser Dr. Tony Leachon has urged the Department of Health (DOH) to set a clear deadline for the processing of data backlog to move forward with collecting real-time and granular data.

(Jansen Romero / MANILA BULLETIN)

“The DOH should set deadline for the sweeping of backlogs, e.g., one week. It should be done one-time reporting of backlogs then move to real-time/granular data,” Leachon said in a Twitter post on Sunday.

He pointed out that real-time and granular or more detailed data are “critical to the next move and policy-making” of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

Dr. Teodoro Herbosa, also a special adviser to the NTF, said the DOH should “clean its database. (They should report the) date of onset of symptoms, date of nasopharyngeal swab, date of test result, date of death, or date of discharge from hospital or quarantine facility,” he said in a Twitter post.

Leachon also pointed out the need to have a risk strategic communication “to allay anxiety of people and rectify perception of global health agencies on the curves of the Philippines on the new reporting system.”

“Without clear communication plan, it seems (there is) increased viral transmission in the midst of GCQ (general community quarantine) transition,” he said. “The health agency needs to clearly communicate that indeed we are in the deceleration phase.”

“The other metrics in shifting to GCQ would show plateauing and flattening of the Philippine curve, e.g., doubling time of 10 days, reduced deaths and case fatality rate, reduced growth rate, and increasing recovery rate. It should be part of the risk communication plan,” he added.

The significant increase in the number of coronavirus cases in the country was attributed by the DOH to the increased testing and catching up on testinfg backlog.

Likewise, DOH cited that the recent rollout of the COVIDKAYA information system, a fully automated data collection platform, has helped the department in receiving fast live updates from hospitals and laboratories across the Philippines.