A security guard (L) takes the temperatures of passengers wearing personal protective suits at the entrance to the check-in area at the international airport in Manila on May 28, 2020, as they arrive for their commercial flight to the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou.
AFP/Ted Aljibe
DOH: Only 20% of record 539 coronavirus cases were newly-validated
Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - May 29, 2020 - 6:44pm

MANILA, Philippines — Only 20% of the record-high 539 coronavirus infections reported Thursday were “fresh” cases, while the remaining were reported late, the Department of Health said.

The Philippines saw 539 additional COVID-19 cases Thursday—the biggest increase in a single day since the outbreak took off in March. But Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that only 109 of those cases were newly-validated.

“109 out of 539 cases are those that were reported in the past three days,” Vergeire said in a press briefing Friday.

The remaining 430 were classified “late” cases whose results came out last week but were only submitted to the agency’s epidemiology bureau yesterday.

The reporting of some fatalities related to COVID-19 also came late. Seventeen additional deaths were registered Thursday but DOH said that some of the deaths actually happened last month and even in March.

The department earlier said the reporting lag was due to the delays in submission of results by laboratories and the manual verification process.

Vergeire said increase in new cases is expected in the coming days with the hiring of more disease surveillance officers who encode and validate cases and the rollout of a fully-automated platform.

She added the department will now change the way it reports COVID-19 cases.

“Simula po ngayon ay hahatiin po namin ang mga numero upang ipakita kung alin sa mga numero na ito ay fresh or newly validated case sa araw at ilan ang na late or delayed lamang,” the health official said.

(Beginning now, we will separate which are fresh or newly-validated cases, and which are late or delayed.)

The number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines stood at 15,588 Thursday, with 921 deaths and 3,598 recoveries. Friday’s tally is expected to be released at 8 p.m.

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