Press Release
July 31, 2020

Pangilinan to DoH: Stop doctoring the COVID-19 data

SENATOR Francis Pangilinan on Friday admonished the Department of Health to be transparent in reporting COVID-19 cases in the country and refrain from "doctoring" or "massaging" its data to make it appear that the government is making headway in battling the pandemic.

"May himala ba? May madyik? Ang mga doktor, dapat nagpapagaling sa pasyente, hindi nangdudoktor ng numero at impormasyon," he said.

The senator made the remark after the DoH reported on Thursday record-high recoveries of 38,075 in a single day due to its "enhanced data reconciliation efforts with local government units."

According to the DoH, the reconciliation activity involves a "mass recovery adjustment" wherein all mild and asymptomatic cases have been re-tagged as recovered.

In doing this, Pangilinan said the DoH is muddling the COVID-19 data by combining the mild patients with those who have actually recovered.

Pangilinan warned the DoH's new data "interpretation" might be dangerous as it gives the patients false sense of security that they are already well without going through the rigors of swab tests.

"Makakapanghawa at mas maraming magkakasakit pag ang maysakit ay tinawag na 'recovered' kung hindi naman ito na-test. Patayin ba ang taumbayan ang gustong mangyari ng gobyerno?" he said, reiterating his call for DoH to bolster its testing, tracing, and treatment activities.

"Tama si Vice President Leni, ang unang hakbang para masolusyunan ang COVID-19 ay tama at kumpletong impormasyon sa lalong madaling panahon. We need accurate and complete data as soon as possible," he said.

When she addressed the nation Wednesday, Vice President Leni Robredo pointed out that in this time of a health crisis, accurate and complete data are also crucial in guiding policy makers in coming up with the necessary intervention and action.

Pangilinan raised the following questions on the DoH's new data reporting:

* How certain are we that these mild and asymptomatic cases are already virus-free after 14 days?

* Are doctors now authorized to issue health clearance certificates to asymptomatic persons?

* Will these cases of "recovered patients" from among the mild and asymptomatic persons no longer have to get two negatives earlier required by the DoH?

"Unless we are hiding something, we owe it to the Filipinos to be transparent and to allow the COVID-19 data to speak for itself, and from there plan our course of action in fighting the pandemic," Pangilinan said.

News Latest News Feed