According to DOH Undersecretary Ma. Rosario Vergeire, they are studying the factors that could have led to the recovery of 26 infected patients as of yesterday.
Kena Betancur/Getty Images/AFP
DOH studying COVID survivors
Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - March 26, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — To improve the management of patients, the Department of Health (DOH) is reviewing the cases of those who got infected with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and later recovered.

According to DOH Undersecretary Ma. Rosario Vergeire, they are studying the factors that could have led to the recovery of 26 infected patients as of yesterday.

“We want to see the common factors or the plus factors among the patients who recovered. We want to know the good practices that we can apply on other patients,” she said.

Based on the DOH tracker, there were 636 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country as of Tuesday. 
Twenty-six of them have
recovered while 38 have died.

The tracker showed that a majority of cases belonged to 50-59 age group, followed by those aged 60-69 and then 30-39 and 40-49 years old.

The DOH said the history of the recovered patients would give health experts the vital data on what medicine and treatment the patients received.

Red ribbons

The DOH yesterday urged the public to wear red armbands to show their support to health workers who continue to combat COVID-19.

“I encourage everyone to wear this to show support for them. Our hearts and support are with you,” Vergeire, who was wearing a red ribbon on her right arm, said at a press conference.

She noted the red ribbon is a sign of support for the frontline workers who continue to take care of COVID-19 patients, ignoring their own welfare.

As the virus continues to spread in the country, health workers also have to contend with the shortage of protective gear, heavy workloads, long hours of duty and stigma.

Some of the doctors, nurses and staff are already infected while many more are undergoing 14-day quarantine after developing symptoms.

Vergeire said that another challenge is the current limited blood donation activities that could have its impact on the country’s blood supply.

“Since mass gatherings and congregations are now prohibited, our blood collection is affected. This is because, there is no mass blood donation activities,” she added.

To ensure continuing blood supply, the DOH is coordinating with its partners to have purposive blood collection.

Marikina lab

According to Vergeire, the DOH could not yet give the go-signal for the testing laboratory for COVID-19 of the Marikina City government after it failed to meet standards.

“It is not that we are against the laboratory. We support the initiatives of anyone who has the capacity to help the government,” she said.

But Vergeire clarified that as a regulatory agency, the DOH has to ensure the “biosafety” of such a facility and the quality of staff before they can be accredited.

“The laboratory processes for COVID-19 is highly technical. It has biosafety issues and biosafety risks involved and we just want to make sure that the laboratory of Marikina complies with our standards,’’ she added.

The official said the DOH is willing to help Marikina City until its laboratory becomes compliant with requirements.

COVID 19 DOH MA. ROSARIO VERGEIRE
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