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DOH: Only 1 negative COVID-19 test result needed for discharge

The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday said they have revised their protocol for discharging patients confirmed to have the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in a bid to decongest hospitals as the number of cases continues to rise.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire explained that under the new protocol, patients can be discharged if they are clinically asymptomatic and have at least one negative COVID-19 test result.

However, patients who will be discharged after only one negative test result must still undergo a 14-day quarantine before they are tested again.

“‘Yun pong dati nating patakaran na dalawang [negative] testing ay binago base po sa rekomendasyon ng ating mga eksperto para hindi na manatiling naka-confine ang ating mga pasyente na wala nang mga sintomas, naresolba na, stable, at ang iniintay na lang ay magkaroon ng negative na resulta,” Vergeire explained.

The new protocol comes after several hospitals across Metro Manila announced that they can no longer accommodate COVID-19 patients as they are already at capacity.

Previously, patients needed two negative test results in order to be discharged.

The number of patients who have recovered from the disease rose to 26 on Wednesday afternoon.

Of this number, several were discharged after testing negative for COVID-19 once.

The new coronavirus has claimed 38 lives and infected a total of 636 people nationwide. —LDF, GMA News