Robredo confused over DOH's COVID-19 reporting system

By Raymund Antonio

With the Department of Health’s new classification of reporting coronavirus cases, Vice President Leni Robredo found herself lost with questions.

Vice President Leni Robredo (OVP / MANILA BULLETIN) Vice President Leni Robredo

Speaking on her Sunday radio show, Robredo said she was “confused” by the DOH report identifying the number of “fresh” or new COVID-19 cases from those that came from backlog of cases.

“Bakit ngayon kailangan magkaroon ng ganitong classification? Kasi kapag first na-test parati naman considered ‘yan na fresh, ‘di ba (Why do we need this kind of classification? Because if you’re tested for the first time, it’s always considered fresh, right),” she said.

The vice president questioned the need for the DOH to separate data of fresh COVID-19 infections from its “late” cases, saying the agency’s report system defies logic.

As of Saturday, May 30, the Philippines posted 17,224 coronavirus cases nationwide, but the DOH said 252 were fresh cases, while the remaining were 338 late cases or backlog data from the DOH.

The Health department said that fresh cases refer to test results that came out and validated in the last three days while late cases were those whose results came out four days ago or more but were just recently confirmed.

The DOH explained the new report system is meant to differentiate between new cases or delayed results so there is no impression of increasing COVID-cases in the country, but Robredo begged to disagree.

“Hindi ko alam kung ano iyong logic doon sa pagbibigay ng classification (I don’t understand what’s the logic of having the classification),” Robredo said.

“Nakakalito kung bakit kailangang ganito. Iyong first time ni-report, palagi iyong fresh, eh (It is confusing why it needs to be like this. When it is first time reported, that will always be fresh),” she stressed.

The vice president said the DOH should fast-track and expand mass testing instead of changing the scheme of reporting the daily COVID-19 cases to address the outbreak.

“Kasi kung bibilis-bilisan, baka hindi na kailangan itong bagong classification. Hindi iyong fresh saka late, na dapat as soon as possible maibigay iyong results (Because if it would be hastened, we might don’t need this new classification. It’s not about whether the cases were fresh or late, the results should be released as soon as possible),” Robredo said.