DOH tells independent experts: ‘Be more careful in making pronouncements’ about PH’s COVID-19 situation


The Department of Health (DOH) has appealed to “independent experts to be more careful” in giving statements about the country’s coronavirus disease (COVID-19) situation.

In a statement on Tuesday night, July 27, the DOH said it “values the work of independent experts but appealed to them to be more careful in making pronouncements in terms of the national situation, as this may cause more panic and fear.”

“While we acknowledge the differences in the metrics and methods of analysis used by these independent groups, we share the same goal to keep the case numbers down and improve the healthcare system of the country,” it added.

The DOH did not specify a particular group in its statement.

The DOH said it observed a rising trend in the COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila. However, there is “no definitive evidence of a surge” in the said area.

“Based on current data analysis by the DOH Epidemiology Bureau and FASSSTER, NCR (National Capital Region) is showing a 19 percent increase for its TWGR (two-week growth rate) and ADAR (average daily attack rate) of six cases per 100,000 population, which is at moderate risk,” the agency said.

The cities of Makati, Las Piñas, Pasay, Pasig, Taguig, Paranaque, Manila, Valenzuela, Navotas, Marikina, and Caloocan all have “positive TWGR - a trend reversal from negative two-week growth rates three to four weeks ago.”

The DOH said it is closely monitoring daily trends and is “immediately flagging areas with increases in rates of transmission.”

“We acknowledge that there is an increase of our case metrics which is why we urge people to continue adhering to the minimum health standards and get vaccinated, and for our local government units to strictly implement our protocols,” said DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

“Otherwise, we might see daily active cases in NCR to reach 11,000 by the end of September 2021 based on the projections calculated by FASSSTER with the assumption that the Delta variant is 60 percent more transmissible, a conservative estimate of how fast the Delta variant will spread,” she furthered.

To note, the Octa Research Group on Tuesday reported that Metro Manila is currently experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases amid the threat of the Delta variant of the coronavirus.

Related story: Metro Manila now in a surge of COVID-19 cases – OCTA

Meanwhile, in terms of the country’s health care capacity, “nationally we are seeing low health care and intensive care utilization rate (ICUR). We are also closely monitoring pending ER (emergency room) admissions,” said Vergeire.

Vergeire said that while the country’s overall healthcare utilization rate and ICUR remain at low-risk, the government should continue to prepare the health system and “further augment the needed resources to maintain these low risk levels.”

“We need to make sure that we have enough capacity to cope with the demand in the event that cases continue their upward trend,” she said.