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Philippine COVID-19 cases underreported, DOH admits

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The number of COVID-19 infections in the country is "understated" despite the reported high number of cases each day, an official from the Department of Health (DOH) said Tuesday.

At a congressional briefing, Marikina Representative Stella Quimbo asked the DOH if the COVID-19 cases in the country are "understated." Quimbo shared that in her family, six of them contracted coronavirus. However, only two were able to validate their condition using the RT-PCR test.

"Actually yes and even outside our country, it is underreported for several reasons. Number one, kapag hindi kayo nagpa-RT-PCR or hindi kayo na-antigen, hindi kayo masasama sa bilang (If you do not have yourselves tested via RT-PCR or antigen test, you will not be included in the data)," DOH Epidemiology Bureau director Dr. Alethea de Guzman responded.

"But there are also those who are asymptomatic, unknowingly infected na hindi natin nade-detect kaya hindi rin po sila nabibilang doon sa total confirmed cases natin (There are those who are unknowingly infected, they are not detected so they are not included in our total confirmed cases),” she added.

The Philippines remains under critical risk for COVID-19 even as the growth rate of infections has slowed down, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said.

On Monday, the country logged 37,070 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the nationwide tally to 3,242,374 and active cases to 290,938. 

De Guzman has said the spike of cases this January can be attributed to the Omicron variant and other factors as well, including the increase in people's mobility. —KG, GMA News

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