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Senators question DOH on surge in recoveries

Senators questioned the Department of Health (DOH) after reporting on Thursday night a sudden surge in the number of recovered COVID-19 patients in one day.

Sen. Joel Villanueva (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN/MANILA BULLETIN)

“We are being fooled,” Senator Joel Villanueva said as he expressed disbelief over the DOH’s announcement of 38,075 recoveries on July 30.

In his Twitter posts, the lawmaker said the health department’s latest report rather showed “a problem with data interpretation” and was only “giving people a false sense of security.”

“Imbes na mass testing, naging mass recovery. Yung reporting style ng DOH, mas malala pa sa pagbago-bago ng panahon. #DOHunreliable #WeAreBeingFooled,” Villanueva wrote. (Instead of mass testing, they gave us mass recovery. The DOH’s reporting style is worse than the changes in weather.)

Senator Risa Hontiveros also slammed the DOH’s “confusing and questionable” pronouncements.

“People are anxious [and] tired. Huwag na dagdagan, [DOH]. Nakakalito at nakakaduda ang papalit-palit na reporting system sa COVID. Pati ang kabagalan ng pag-collate at pagreport, ngayon pati sa recovered cases (Please don’t add to these, DOH. Your ever-changing reporting system for COVID-19 is confusing and questionable. You had delays in collating and reporting, now even with the recovered cases),” Hontiveros said in a separate statement on social media.

The DOH, she said, should report and explain the country’s COVID-19 situation “every step of the way.”

“Data is vital. Hindi tayo makakatugon nang maayos kung hindi natin alam ang kumpletong larawan ng problema (We will not be able to properly respond to the pandemic if we don’t have the complete picture of the problem),” she said.

“Clear communication is what will earn the people’s trust,” Hontiveros said. “They need to fix communication [with] the public and first [and] foremost amongst themselves.”

The DOH reported that 38,075 COVID-19 patients have recovered in the country, a huge jump from the previous record-high recoveries of 4,325 last July 13. 

It also exceeded the agency’s previous count of total recoveries of 26,996 on Wednesday afternoon.

Aside from the recoveries, the agency also announced a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases with 3,954 more infections added on its caseload. This was also the highest number of new cases recorded in one day so far.

The DOH said the sudden increase in the COVID-19 figures was due to its “enhanced data reconciliation efforts with local government units.”

“Early this month, the DOH created the COVID-19 Surveillance and Quick Action Unit which focuses on data collection, validation, and reconciliation of information available at the local and national level,” the DOH explained. 

“These massive data reconciliation efforts have resulted in faster and more accurate tagging of health statuses-particularly on deaths and recoveries. Data on recovery reconciliations will be reported every 15 days,” it added. 

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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