The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday reported 106 new confirmed cases for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), bringing the total number of cases in the country to 3,870.
In its 4 p.m. case bulletin, the DOH also reported 12 new recoveries which bring the total of recovered cases nationwide to 96 and five new deaths, bringing the total number of deaths in the country to 182.
The agency said recorded recoveries represent the patients who were confined in hospitals and these do not include mild or asymptomatic cases who recovered during their self-quarantine.
“It is too early to tell if these cases are already actually decreasing but rest assured we are exerting our maximum effort to track all cases to see a better picture at the soonest possible time,” Dr. Beverly Ho, special assistant to the health secretary, said during the Beat Covid-19 virtual presser.
Ho explained there are two main sources of data that the DOH reports to the public — the case investigation form (CIF) and the laboratory information system.
“Sa lab info system nakatala lahat ng taong tinest as well as their lab results and ‘yung CIF naman ay kung saan nakatala ang name, age, occupation, travel history at iba pang detalye ng mga pasyente na may sintomas o (The lab info system shows the persons who were tested as well as their lab results and the CIF contains the name, age, occupation, travel history and other details of patients with symptoms or) contacts from contact tracing,” she said.
Earlier, the DOH said hospitals or contact tracers accomplish these forms which often hold incomplete information or are in hard copies.
To complete all the needed information, the department’s epidemiology bureau will call the concerned hospitals one by one.
“If the occupation field is left blank, we’ll never know from our database how many health workers are actually affected. If the travel history is left blank, we’ll never know how many from those who got affected got it from travel or locally transmitted,” Ho said, adding that every patient has a role to play in ensuring that the data provided to the public is accurate.
Ho also reported that more than 10,000 CIF paper forms are being encoded with the help of partners and employees working from home to reduce the backlogs in data.
“By Sunday, April 12 we aim to have zero encoding backlog. Starting this week, all are required to submit the CIF forms and lab results online. This will save our epidemiology bureau time and effort to consolidate the results,” she said. (PNA)