The Philippines now has a nationwide total of 16,634 cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) with the highest new cases recorded at 1,046, as of the latest tally from the Department of Health (DoH) on Thursday.
DoH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire explained that in the following days the public can expect more increasing data in the new cases reported due to a majority of the validated cases being added in the total released data.
“Expect [an] increase in numbers in the coming days because we are aggressively validating,” she said.
Earlier, Vergeire asaid the DoH will be adopting a new format in the daily reported number of cases as it is now divided into two classifications namely the ‘fresh’ and ‘late’ cases.
The ‘fresh’ cases pertain to test results that had been released to the patient within the last three days while the ‘late’ cases were test results already released for more than four days but had only been validated.
The data also showed that the 1,000 ‘late’ cases attributed most to the spike as compared to the 46 ‘fresh’ cases.
“There are still cases for validation so we will still expect [an] increase in numbers until we can validate all that are to be validated,” Vergeire said.
“But yes, once all have been validated we can now just have FRESH cases. Hopefully no more delays and only FRESH cases are left to be reported,” she added.
The DoH also reported that out of the total cases 11,069 are active where a majority or 10,240 were mild and 751 were asymptomatic.
In other developments, Vergeire said that currently the backlogs have only been reduced to 545 as of this afternoon despite the pronouncement yesterday of reducing it to zero by Friday night.
She attributed the backlogs to a number of mishaps in the laboratories such as problems with the supplies, late submission of cases from labs, and the manual processing of cases.
On Friday, Vergeire said that several laboratories have already returned to its full scale operations which included the Bicol DIagnostic Reference Laboratory, the University of the Philippines-National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH), and the Lung Center of the Philippines.
But the DoH also announced that a total of 37 RT-PCR and 11 Gene Xpert laboratories have been licensed.
The new laboratories include the Tropical Disease Foundation in Makati, Davao One World Diagnostic Center Inc., the Bataan General Hospital, Davao Regional Medical Center, Region I Medical Center, and the Hi-Precision Diagnostics in Quezon City.
Also, as of the latest DoH bulletin, the testing capacity is currently at 8,777 which is lower than its previous capacities where the highest attained was still at 11,000 last May 14 and 15.
With only a few days left, the supposed national target is set at 30,000 tests daily by the end of May.