There could be more patients who have recovered from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) than what has been reported, the Department of Health said on Thursday.
Dr. Beverly Ho of the DOH said this could be the case since the figure only included those who had gone through repeat testing.
Under DOH guidelines, confirmed COVID-19 cases are required to undergo repeat tests to see if they have recovered from the respiratory illness.
However, she said that the department has changed its policy after learning that polymerase chain reaction tests would "not be effective in capturing the presence of a virus in the patient especially if they are on their way to recovery already.”
The DOH now recommends that patients be sent home, where they will undergo a 14-day quarantine, if they display clinical improvement and resolution of their COVID-19 symptoms.
“Ang ating mga recoveries ay maaari pang tumaas dahil hindi pa po dito kasama ang mga pasyenteng clinically recovered or ‘yung mga pinayagan nang umuwi ng kanilang doktor at inabisuhang mag-self-quarantine,” Ho said.
She added that the time it takes for COVID-19-positive patients to recover ranges from 13 and a half days to over a month.
More severe cases, meanwhile, usually take four to six weeks to recover.
The number of recoveries maintained its lead over the death toll on Thursday after the DOH reported 82 new recoveries and 13 more fatalities.
Recoveries now total 435 while deaths climbed to 362 out of 5,660 cases. -NB, GMA News