Press Release
May 13, 2020

Dispatch from Crame No. 795:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima's comments on alleged misleading reports on COVID-19 positive cases


Paano natin mahihikayat ang kooperasyon ng ating mga kababayan kung mahirap sundan at paniwalaan ang datos na nanggagaling mismo sa ating gobyerno?

In the latest COVID-19 situationer released by the Department of Health (DOH) last May 10, they announced 10,610 cases. However, in the same report, it also states that there are 14,504 individuals who tested positive for COVID-19. No explanation is given as to the difference of 3,894 in the figures. The report also states 2,524 total probable cases which do not match the aforementioned difference. Probable cases are defined as those with inconclusive or unofficial test results.

The figures don't add up. It is as if there is an attempt to blow up the number of persons tested while keeping the official tally of COVID-19 cases low.

There are also questions as to whether recent spikes in the number of persons who tested positive for COVID-19 in Tondo, Manila and Cebu are duly reflected in the report of the DOH.

Dapat linawin ng DOH ang kanilang datos kung ilan talaga ang nag po-positibo at kung ilan ang kanilang backlog sa pagpo-proseso. Hindi ito panahon para magtago ng datos. Kailangan natin ng tamang impormasyon para gumabay sa ating polisiya.

Doubts on the actual figures of COVID-19 cases further compound the fact that we are hopelessly behind in our testing program. A substantial no. of COVID-19 cases are asymptomatic. Without a successful testing program, we would not be able to contain the spread of the virus.

Mayo na po! Halos 0.1% pa lang ng ating populasyon ang na-test. Even though 149,640 individuals so far tested may sound a lot, it is still miniscule compared to the desired universe of individuals, sectors and areas that need to be tested.

The recent admission of Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque that our government failed to meet the goal of 8,000 tests per day by April 30 makes their new goal of 30,000 tests per day by May 30 even more ridiculous. If we are not even reaching 8,000 tests per day now, how do we get there in three weeks?

At the pace that we are going, our data is not reflecting the rate of infection, but rather the rate of our testing. How can we make the right policy and decision if we are not generating our data fast enough? How can we contain the spread of the virus if whole communities are already infected by the time we start testing?

Hindi po malaking sikreto ang pag control sa pandemic na ito. Ang mga hakbang ay: testing, isolation, containment, treatment. Kung sa testing pa lang, bagsak na ang gobyerno natin, paano pa natin magagawa ang mga susunod na hakbang?

Now is not the time for distraction. The Philhealth issue, the ABS-CBN closure, the violence in implementation of the ECQ. Duterte's obsessive rants versus the NPAs, all of these are distractions. They all distract us from that which we must accomplish. The slower we move on the testing, the longer we stay under quarantine and the worse our economy gets. We need to succeed in flattening the curve. We need to step up the testing and we need a leader who can get it done.

(Access the handwritten copy of Dispatch from Crame No. 795, here:

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