DOH official believes recent decline in COVID-19 cases still artificial

Published April 21, 2021, 3:26 PM

by Leslie Ann Aquino

Although there has been a recent decrease in the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases, an official of the Department of Health (DOH) believes this is still artificial.

(Photo by Jam STA ROSA / AFP)

“For the past two weeks, you can really see a decline in cases. However, we must be careful in interpreting the data because we still have this artificial decline in cases. We cannot say yet that it is conclusive,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a virtual forum Wednesday, April 21.

“We believe the decline is still artificial. Let’s wait for more days. Maybe next week, we can already see the effects of the ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) and MECQ (modified enhanced community quarantine),” she added.

She also explained that there were a number of laboratories that were non- operational last Sunday and that there were also several non-reporting labs.

“Their average output per day, we computed to see if this has affected our numbers, and it has affected. Thus, the decline has been artificial,” said Vergeire.

Meanwhile, the public should expect a higher number of recoveries beginning this week as the DOH decided to make the “time-based” recovery system daily, instead of weekly or every Sunday.

“So that we can have more accurate daily numbers, we need to make the time-based tagging daily. This is the reason we have been seeing higher recoveries since last Monday,” said Vergeire.

“And because we have higher cases, most of which are mild and asymptomatic, we can also expect a high number of recoveries,” she added.