The Philippines’ COVID-accredited laboratories still have over 1,400 backlogs, the Department of Health (DOH) said on July 1.
DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the difference between the number of COVID-positive individuals and the number of confirmed cases posted every day by the DOH is not considered backlog.
This is because some individuals may be tested twice, but only count as one confirmed positive case.
“‘Yung discrepancy ay dahil sa duplicate entries within the laboratories. For example, multiple tests can be done to a person or duplicates based on different forms and in between laboratories,” she said.
This clarification comes after posts popped up on social media saying that the DOH website lists over 46,000 cases—almost 10,000 more than the confirmed cases DOH reported on June 30. Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque then said there are only about 1,000 laboratory backlogs.
“Ang 1,000 na sinabi po ni Secretary Roque kanina ay ayon sa datos na nakalagay sa ating June 27 situation report. Ang ating latest data shows that the laboratory backlog is at 1,430,” Vergeire said.
The DOH is working on rolling out COVIDKaya, an application that allows for the digital encoding of data. This would help in sorting positive individuals and validating cases. While the app is expected to make encoding data easier and more efficient for frontliners, errors cannot be completely ruled out.
“We cannot expect na totally mawawala ang ibang encoding and clerical errors,” she said.
As of July 1, the Philippines has recorded 38,511 COVID-19 cases. There have been 10,438 recoveries and 1,270 deaths.