Despite the apparent increase in validated case figures reported in the last two days, there is actually a downward trend in the mortality rate in the country for mid-June, the Department of Health (DOH) explained on Sunday.
In a special weekend edition of Beat COVID-19 Virtual Presser, Health OIC-Undersecretary Dr. Maria Rosario Vergeire underscored that the rise in reported deaths from COVID-19 this month is due to a delay in the submission of validated mortality cases from the LGUs to the DOH’s Epidemiology Bureau.
“Noong June 12 ay nagreport tayo ng 16 deaths. Kahapon naman, June 13 ay nagreport tayo ng 22 deaths,” Vergeire revealed. “Itong pagtaas ng bilang ng mga ni-report natin ay maaaring naging cause for concern ng ating mga kababayan, kaya naman ay nais naming humingi ng paumanhin kung kayo ay nabahala at kaya naman binibigyang linaw namin ngayon ang mga numerong ito,” she added.
“Marami ang nagtatanong: lumalala ba ang sitwasyon? Base sa datos natin sa nangamatay, ang sagot po diyan ay hindi,” Vergeire confirmed.
According to the Health OIC-Undersecretary, out of the 22 reported deaths on June 13, only four, or 18%, died in the month of June, one each on the following dates: June 3, 4, 6, and 9.
The remaining 18 deaths occurred in the previous months but were only recently submitted to the DOH Epidemiology Bureau. Dr. John Wong of Epimetrics, Inc., Ateneo professor and part of the IATF’s data analytics expert group, echoed the Spokesperson’s message.
“With improved reporting efficiency by the COVIDKaya app, cases appear to be rising. However, adjusted for late reports, deaths have actually been decreasing,” Wong noted. “Deaths have increased over the past two days although the median is still 10 per day. However, the recent increase has been due to late reports coming in to the DOH,” Wong added.
According to Wong, the good news is that the Philippines case fatality rate (CFR) is 4.7 which is below the global CFR of over 5.
“The pandemic we are experiencing right now is a first in many ways. And, as such, the reporting and validating of cases is an evolving science which is why we encounter several challenges along the way,” she added.
“Ang mga kaso natin ay hind tumataas gaya nung Marso at Abril,” Vergeire revealed.
“Malaki na ang improvement sa pagreport ng kaso,” she added noting that while in the past reporting delays for deaths on the average reached over 20 days, now it’s only around seven to eight days.
“Ang mga good news na ito ay naging possible dahil sa sakripisyo ng bawat isa – lalo na sa pagprotekta natin sa mga nakakatanda at vulnerable; sa mga LGUs natin na proactive na gumagalaw on the ground; sa mga laboratories at ospital natin na maaga nagsusubmit ng datos,” she noted.
Vergeire however reminded the public to remain vigilant to ensure the downward trend continues.
“Pero ang good news na ito ay mabilis ding babaliktad kung magpapabaya tayo sa pagsuot ng mask paglabas ng bahay, pag-physical distancing, palagiang paghugas ng kamay, dahil ang mga gawaing ito ang magpapabagal ng pagkalat ng virus,” she concluded./Stacy Ang