May 30, 2023

The Department of Health is modifying the format of its daily bulletin for the coronavirus disease-2019 (Covid-19) to distinguish the backlogs or “late cases” from “fresh cases.”

Based on DOH’s definition, “late cases” are positive cases belatedly submitted and were validated only recently while “fresh cases” are test results that came in less than three days and were validated by the DOH Epidemiology Bureau.

In a virtual briefing, Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire cited as an example the spike of 539 Covid-19 cases reported on May 28, the Philippines’ highest single-daily increase since the outbreak.

Of the 539, she said only 109 are “fresh cases” while the balance of over 400 is “late cases” whose results came out last week.

Vergeire noted that the validation process is integral to avoid “double counting” and to ensure that the case reported is a “unique individual.”

She said that the decision to place an area under general community quarantine is based on a number of factors, including the case doubling time and critical care utilization rate.

Kung pababa ang number of deaths, mas mahaba ang case doubling time, at mababa ang ating critical care utilization rate mas gumaganda po ang sitwasyon ng ating bansa,” she said.

The case doubling time is the period it takes for cases to rise two-fold, while the critical care utilization rate reflects the percentage of healthcare facilities and equipment currently in use.

As of May 28, the Philippines has 13,627 total bed capacity for Covid-19 patients, with 1,883 ward beds; 6,059 isolation beds; and 871 ICU beds still available.

On the other hand, 365 mechanical ventilators are in use with 1,653 available. – PNA release