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Time to Catch Up: DOH Aims to Finish COVID-19 Tests Backlog by Tonight

There are 3,683 samples left to be validated.
by Clara Rosales
May 28, 2020
Photo/s: Pixabay / Belova59

The Department of Health (DOH) aims to reduce COVID-19 tests backlog to zero by Thursday night, Undersecretary Rosario Vergeire said on May 28.

According to Vergeire, there was a backlog of 12,000 two weeks ago, but this number has gone down to 3,683.

“Backlogs are those samples already taken [from patients] but the results are yet to be released by the laboratories. Two weeks ago, ang backlog natin ay 12,000. Umonti na siya,” Vergeire said in a DOH virtual media forum.

“Noong Lunes, 7,000 na lang, naibaba natin sa 5,000 at ngayon nga, 3,683. Ang target natin, by tonight, we will be reducing all of the backlogs to zero,” she added.

The undersecretary clarified that these backlogs are different from the positive COVID-19 cases reported by laboratories that have not yet been validated by the DOH.

On May 27, the UP OCTA Research team reported that there are over 7,119 individuals nationwide who tested positive for COVID-19, but are not yet included in the DOH tally.

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“More laboratories have been able to submit their line list of positive individuals on a regular basis, and the Epidemiology Bureau is quickly matching them with its database to ensure that they are indeed unique positive individuals,” Vergeire said.

Validation takes some time, but Vergeire said the process could be faster once the COVIDKAYA program rolls out. The new process will digitize encoding, making it easier for DOH to validate cases and results from COVID laboratories.

“With the rollout of COVIDKAYA, this process will be expedited as the application will automate the cross-referencing of results across different laboratories,” she said.

As of May 27, 4 p.m., the Philippines recorded 380 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the country’s total number of cases to 15,049. There have been 3,506 recoveries and 94 deaths.