By Analou De Vera
The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday said that the total of confirmed coronavirus disease cases in the Philippines has gone up to 22,992.
The DOH latest case bulletin showed that there were 518 newly confirmed cases. Of this, 280 were classified as “fresh cases” or whose test results were released within three days, while 238 were “late cases” or test results released more than four days but were only validated recently.
The Health department also reported that the number of recoveries rose to 4,736, with 99 new survivors. The death toll also increased to 1,017 after six more fatalities were added.
With the fresh cases numbering at about 300 daily, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that it does not mean the number of cases is increasing.
“Let us be cautious in interpreting the results. Hindi porque tumataas ang fresh cases for these past days ay tumataas na talaga ang kaso sa ating bansa,” said Vergeire.
“Hindi pa rin natin masasabi na talagang actual cases ito dahil….nung binalikan namin yung onset of illness ay malayo sya doon sa release of test results [We still cannot say that these are actual cases because when we reviewed the([date of) release of test results, it is far from the (date of the) onset of illness],” she added.
Vergeire said that they are still studying the data. “Pinag-aaralan ng data analytics group doon sa Interagency Task Force natin [This is still being studied by the data analytics group of the Interagency Task Force],” she said.
COVID-19 cases in Region 7
The Health official said that they are also analyzing the spike of cases in Central Visayas. She noted that recently, on some days, the number of new cases in Region 7 exceeded the NCR figures.
“Kahapon napag-utusan ang Epidemiology Bureau, pina-plot natin sa onset of illness lahat ng kaso dito sa Region 7 para makita natin yung trend doon sa kanilang lugar [Yesterday, the Epidemiology Bureau was instructed… we are now plotting the cases in Region 7 in terms of onset of illness so we can see the trend in their area],” she added.
Vergeire said that the increasing cases in Central Visayas may be attributed to the aggressive contact tracing efforts being done by the local government unit.
“Sa Cebu napaka proactive ng ating local officials doon. So their contact tracing really is parang best practice iyan. Para silang Baguio, they do contact tracing very well[In Cebu, our local officials are very proactive. They have a best practice when it comes to contact tracing just like in Baguio. They do contact tracing very well],” she said.
“So, baka maaring iyan din ang nakakacontribute kung bakit ang kaso o mga numero sa Cebu ay tumataas ng ganito [So, this might be one of the reasons why the cases are increasing]. We are now analyzing,” she added.
Based on the DOH COVID-19 tracker, there were 3,604 confirmed cases in Central Visayas. It came second to the National Capital Region with 12,243 cases.