MANILA (UPDATE) – Many of COVID-19 positive test results being validated by the Department of Health (DOH) were found to be duplicates, an official said Tuesday, as the agency seeks to clear the backlog in possible confirmed cases.
The Philippines has logged more than 24,866 positive unique individuals from the 335,726 tested for the disease as of June 1, according to the latest DOH situation report.
Health authorities, however, have already confirmed 18,997 coronavirus cases as of Tuesday. Some 13,699 are considered active cases, with majority of the patients exhibiting mild symptoms.
The DOH earlier explained that the discrepancy is due to the validation process that every positive result goes through before being added to the official tally.
“Ngayong pumasok na ang karamihan ng kompletong line list ng ating laboratories, karamihan pala sa 23,000 cases na recorded ng mga laboratoryo ay mga duplicates sa iba pang mga laboratoryo. Ibig sabihin ay marami ang dumodoble,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a virtual press briefing.
(After laboratories have submitted their complete line list, we found out that many of the 23,000 recorded cases were duplicates from other laboratories. It means many are doubled.)
She said 38 of 42 reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) laboratories have already submitted their complete line list, which refers to tests conducted by laboratories from the time they began operating.
In validating cases, a laboratory has to send their full line list of positive patients to the epidemiology bureau.
Then, the epidemiology bureau identifies and removes duplicate entries such as multiple tests done for one patient.
The epidemiology bureau proceeds then to identify new confirmed cases that have not been previously encoded in the system.
Lastly, the identified unique positive individuals will be cross-checked in the system, wherein they will be tagged as “unique case first reported by laboratory” or “tested and reported in another laboratory.”
“Kapag ang lahat ng laboratoryo natin ay nagpapasa on time ng kanilang daily accomplishment report, wala po tayong maiiwang backlogs for validation, at ibig sabihin ay fresh cases na lamang po ang ating ire-report,” Vergeire said.
(If all laboratories submit their daily accomplishment reports on time, we won’t have backlogs for validation anymore and we will only be reporting fresh cases.)
“Kapag nangyari po ito, masasabi po natin na mas accurate na po ang sitwasyon na nakikita kada araw, base sa mga bagong kaso na papasok dito sa ating case bulletin,” she added.
(When this happens, we can say that the daily situation is more accurate based on the new cases added on our case bulletin.)