DOH reports highest COVID-19 death toll in a day
The Department of Health (DOH) on Sunday reported the highest number of death toll in one day since the start of the coronavirus disease pandemic.
In a virtual presser, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the DOH recorded 50 deaths making the total number of fatalities to 297 while the number of recoveries is now at 197 after 40 COVID-19 patients recovered from the disease.
DOH also recorded 220 new cases, bringing the total COVID-19 cases to 4,648.
Vergeire said the high numbers in new deaths and recoveries among COVID-19 patients were due to the inclusion of their backlogs.
"The newly-reported recoveries, and deaths include the unreported cases or backlogs," said Vergeire.
With its improved testing capacity, the DOH is now addressing the backlogs.
"We are catching up on our backlogs (after) expanding our testing capacities," the DOH official said.
Meanwhile, Vergeire said the local government units are directed to find a solution on the limited space of hospitals for the increasing number of cadavers.
The Health official also said the DOH is not inclined to hold mass burial for now.
“As of now, our hospitals have the capacity to store the cadavers on their morgues while waiting for the families… on burying the cadavers. The IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) allowed it as long as they will be placed in properly sealed body bags… we are not yet discussing the mass burial because there is no need for now. What the government is doing is preparing facilities such as mobile freezer to help hospitals in case they exceed their capacity,” Vergeire said.
Vergeire said the state-run East Avenue Medical Center has already received its mobile freezer for unclaimed bodies after reports circulated on social media about the lack of body bags causing them to just pile cadavers at the back of the hospital.
There was also allegation that the EAMC had already stopped counting the number of COVID-19 deaths, which the DOH denied.
In a related statement, Malacanang said the policy of President Rodrigo Duterte is to be transparent to the Filipino people in any aspect of governance, particularly in the present crisis involving COVID-19.
“Such allegation against the government is absolutely bereft of logic as well as of common sense. What would the government get from concealing the actual number of deaths due to COVID-19?" Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.
"The government is precisely interested in knowing the number of deaths so that we will know the status of our fight against the coronavirus and we can undertake measures to improve our health system. Obviously, it’s false news,” he added.
Panelo reminded all citizens, especially those who are prominent media practitioners, to be more responsible in posting any unconfirmed information that they receive.
“It is more helpful to validate the same with the government offices concerned instead of publishing it which may be accepted by gullible netizens as true,” he said. Ella Dionisio/DMS