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DOH could be missing half of the actual total COVID-19 cases due to limited testing, Duque says

The Department of Health (DOH) could be missing half of the actual total number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the country due to the limited testing capacity of laboratories, Secretary Francisco Duque III said Monday.

As of Sunday, the DOH has tested at least 1,513 patients. Of which, 380 turned positive for COVID-19, including 25 fatalities, 662 tested negative, while the results for the 471 patients are still pending.

Duque said there could be around 600 confirmed cases based on the current tally of deaths.

“So ang namimiss natin kalahati,” he said in an interview on Dobol B sa News TV.

“Habang dumadami ang ating testing capacity, malalaman natin ang tunay na trend ng transmission sa Pilipinas,” he added.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire earlier said that the big increase in the number of cases in the past few days was due to the improved testing capacity of laboratories.

She said the increase in the number of cases in the coming days might not show yet the actual trend because of the delay in the release of result of the tests conducted the past days.

“Maaaring artificial lang ang pagtaas na ito in the coming days because of the test results that had been delayed in the past,” she added.

Vergeire said the Philippines is now able to conduct almost 1,000 tests for COVID-19 every day after several sub-national laboratories became operational.

Duque said at least seven laboratories now have the capacity to conduct testing.

He added supplies of testing kits have been pouring in from different countries such as China, South Korea, and Singapore amid global shortage.

Recently, the Food and Drug Administration approved four test kit products for the COVID-19 from China and South Korea.—AOL, GMA News