DOH verifying if decrease in COVID-19 cases due to lower laboratory output

Published October 4, 2021, 2:31 PM

by Jaleen Ramos

The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday, Oct. 4, said it was still verifying if the decrease in number of COVID-19 cases in the country was due to the lower laboratory output.


“Though pababa ang nakikita nating trend ng kaso, may kaakibat din po kasing pagbaba ng mga laboratory output (Though we are seeing a downward trend in the case, it may also be associated with the decrease in laboratory outputs),” said DOH Epidemiology Bureau Director Alethea De Guzman in a virtual press briefing.

“Ayun po ang gusto nating higit maintindihan kung ito po ay tunay na pagbaba dahil kaunti na lang ang mga kasong nakikita natin o di kaya may epekto dito sa paglipat sa antigen testing (That’s what we want to understand whether if this is a real decrease in cases or maybe it has something to do with the shifting to antigen testing),” she added.

De Guzman said the whole country remains under moderate risk for COVID-19.

The country’s two-week growth rate is at -21 percent and the average daily attack rate (ADAR) is now at 14.73 per 100,000 individuals, she noted.

“Sa pagkalap natin ng datos, nakita natin na meron na tayong negative na two-week growth rate at bumaba na po ang ating average daily attack rate (As we gathered the data, we saw that we already had a negative two-week growth rate and our average daily attack rate had dropped,” De Guzman said.

“Subalit ang DOH cautiously ini-interpret ito. Dahil mina-match po natin siya dun sa nakita nating pagbaba ng laboratory output (But the DOH is cautiously interpreting it because we are also matching it with the decrease in laboratory output),” she added.

De Guzman also assured they were coordinating with the Metro Manila mayors, Metro Manila Development and Authority, as well as the regional offices, in verifying if the decrease in cases and laboratory output was due to the fact that there were already fewer cases, or whether the shift to antigen testing had an effect on it.

Meanwhile, the hospital bed utilization rate in the country is currently at moderate risk, she said.

De Guzman noted the nationwide bed utilization rate was at 63.83 percent, while the bed utilization rate in the National Capital Region (NCR) was at 59.25 percent.

At least six regions are still classified as high risk for COVID-19 including the Cordillera Administrative Region, Region 1, Region 2, Mimaropa, Region 9, and Region 5.

De Guzman said they will also observe if there was an effect from the two weeks of pilot implementation of the alert level system.

“Kung makikita natin na ito ay talagang kasing ganda or even have better results than our widescale and very restrictive lockdowns, then that will enable us to make that recommendation na mai-rollout siya to non-NCR areas (If we can see that it is really as good or even have better results than our widescale and very restrictive lockdowns, then that will enable us to make that recommendation to roll it out to non-NCR areas).”