02458: Numbers Shouldn't Lie

Metro Manila Community Quarantine - Day 76

Today the Department of Health introduced a new way of declaring new cases of COVID-19 in the country. Instead of just reporting the number of new cases diagnosed, they've now broken it up into two in order to reflect the long-running testing backlog that has distorted our numbers. So now we have "Fresh Cases", which refer to instances where the DOH was able to release the result of a patient within three days of being swabbed. In contrast, all other cases are "Late Cases", which is everyone's else tests. It's a weird delineation but I guess they wanted to get a win or somehow skew the data presentation in order to achieve that end. 

So not only did they use this reclassification to justify yesterday's new record high of cases diagnosed in a day from 539 new cases became 109 fresh cases and 430 late cases. But this was just preamble to today's 1,046 new cases broken down as 46 fresh cases and exactly 1,000 late cases. Good grief.

And all this is just a few days before we enter General Community Quarantine next week. Whew.

This government may be doing a lot of work to fight this disease, but they could probably be a lot more transparent about their efforts and more importantly their challenges. This new classification system is an effort to finally talk about the testing backlog but in a rather roundabout way.