DOH Usec. Vergeire: Hike In Number Of COVID-19 Cases Could Be ‘Artificial’

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The increase in the number of persons who have coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) could be an “artificial rise” of cases, an official of the Department of Health (DOH) said on Wednesday.

“Nagkaroon tayo ng pagsasaayos ng proseso sa ating mga laboratoryo, na-extend po ang capacity ng ating laboratories plus the additional test kits na dumating sa atin na mas nagkaroon tayo ng (The process in our laboratories were put in order, the capacity of our laboratories was extended plus the additional test kits that arrived give us the) capacity to reduce the backlog we had in the past weeks,” DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during the Laging Handa public briefing.

Vergeire added that the test results reported to the public “may not be timely”.

“Kumbaga dati pa sila at atin lamang pong hinahabol sa ngayon kaya sinasabi natin na it might be an artificial rise kaya ibinibilin po natin sa ating mga kababayan, huwag po kayo magulat kapag natanggal na po natin ang backlogs, makikita na po natin ang mga totoong numero sa pagtaas o pagbaba ng kaso sa ating bansa (It’s like they are old [test results] and we’re catching up [on disseminating them to the public] that’s why it might be an artificial rise, so we remind our public not to be surprised because when we’re done with the backlogs, we’ll see the real figures on the rise or decrease of cases in our country),” she said.

She also clarified reports about the spread of Covid-19 in the country reaching its peak by mid-April to June.

“This is a modeling estimate we made… two weeks ago… based on scientific assumptions with the DOH and the World Health Organization…we could reach this peak in two to three months kung tayo po ay hindi gagawa ng (if we will not perform) stringent measures,” she said.

Since the government has implemented the enhanced community quarantine, Vergeire said there would be another modeling estimate to be made to see if there would be an increase or decrease of Covid-19 cases.

As of noon Wednesday, the DOH reported that the total number of Covid-19 cases is now at 636 with the additional 84 new cases; three new deaths; and six new recoveries.

The month-long quarantine in the entire Luzon started on March 16. Some of the measures include the suspension of classes, working from home, and limiting the movement of people to contain the spread of Covid-19. (PNA)