After last week’s triumphant record-low daily cases, the country was left with the impression that we are on our way to flattening the curve. This week’s statistics state otherwise.
September 14 joined the ranks of highest COVID-19 statistics with almost 5,000 cases recorded in a single day. At 259 deaths, the largest number of recorded COVID-19 deaths was also released that same day. Is this indicative that we have yet to actually flatten the curve?
It is worth noting that the 259 deaths did not all happen recently. Only 28 of these occurred in September. 110 were from August, 97 were from July, 22 were from June, and 2 were from April and May. These numbers accumulated as DOH strives to follow the time-based strategy that the WHO has set in place. This strategy is a shift in stats recording for places where repeat testing is no longer practiced.
DOH has made it clear that updating statistics is a complex and difficult feat. The agency has stated recently that they “continue to strive to keep media and the public updated with the most accurate national tally available at the moment. At the same time, we are constantly reminding our LGUs and disease reporting units to immediately report deaths and ensure that information to support this is completely encoded.”
The presented data are collected from LGUs nationwide. At this point, local governments, health facilities, and regional surveillance units have only recently begun to utilize DOH’s statistics monitoring app, COVID-Kaya. 253 out of the 259 recorded deaths were cases previously tagged by as recoveries by LGUs. Their stat updates through the app has greatly attributed to September 14’s significant death stats.
Curve is Yet to be Flattened
Of the 4,699 diagnosed cases recorded, 87% were recent. Metro Manila remains the top contributor for identified cases with 1,102 COVID-19 positives. This shows that we have not reached the curve-flattening that we previously predicted. These numbers increasingly grew in conjunction with our country’s easing public restrictions.
The current debate for reducing the one-meter distancing rule has health experts and medical professionals up in arms. The DOH has stressed that Filipinos must maintain the minimum one-meter distancing and remain extra vigilant in public. “Cases will surely rise and hamper our recovery if we do this now,” warned Dr. Antonio Dans of the Healthcare Professionals Alliance for COVID-19 (HPAAC), the largest group of Filipino health workers.
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