DOH: W. Visayas LGUs to issue COVID-19 case bulletins

ILOILO CITY—After removing demographic data on cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from its daily bulletin, the Western Visayas regional office of the Department of Health (DOH-6) said the local government units (LGUs) will now be the ones to issue the case bulletins.

The new format of DOH-6’s COVID-19 case daily bulletin for Western Visayas. (DOH-6/ MANILA BULLETIN)

“We have made instructions to all LGUs to issue their own COVID-19 case bulletins. In fact, Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas reports first before the release of any bulletin,” said DOH-6 Regional Director Dr. Maryln Convocar.

The DOH-6 faced public criticism this week when it omitted information of each COVID-19 case.

Unlike in previous daily case bulletins, DOH-6 no longer indicates the towns in Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, and Negros Occidental provinces or the districts of highly urbanized cities of Iloilo and Bacolod where new COVID-19 positive cases are recorded.  It also omitted the age, gender, and status of each positive case.

The new COVID-19 case bulletin only classifies whether cases are local transmissions, repatriated locally stranded individuals (LSIs), repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), or frontline workers.

Convocar said the new format of COVID-19 reporting is based on a directive by DOH Central Office in Metro Manila. She added that all of DOH’s Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Units (RESUs) from across the country agreed to have a uniformed reporting template.

As for LGUs’ reporting status, Convocar said almost all provincial governments in Western Visayas, except Iloilo province, have detailed demographic information for the public that is readily available in social media platforms.

Convocar pointed out that the LGUs’ more direct approach in reporting new COVID-19 cases leads to faster response mechanisms.