Negative swab tests not needed to be tagged as ‘recovered’, testing czar says

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The country’s testing czar Vince Dizon said that COVID-19 patients do not need to undergo a swab test with a negative result to be declared as virus-free after weeks of getting infected, as he justified the sudden surge in recoveries.

Dizon said the 38,075 recoveries recently reported by the Department of Health on Thursday follows new rules set by the agency following updated global practices.

“Hindi na kailangan ng (negative) PCR test bago ma-tag na recovered ang isang pasyente. Ang advice ng WHO (World Health Organization) at ng ibang mga experts at sa pagsunod ng standards ng ibang bansa, kung ang isang tao na may COVID-19 after ng incubation period na 14 days ay wala nang sintomas, wala nang lagnat, ubo, sipon, hindi na hihirapang huminga, sila po ay considered recovered na,” Dizon told CNN Philippines’ The Source.

[You no longer need a (negative) PCR test before you can be tagged as a recovered patient. The advice of the WHO and other experts, and based on international standards, is that when a COVID-19 patient finished the 14-day incubation period without showing symptoms like fever, cough, colds, and difficulty in breathing, they are already considered recovered.]

The DOH earlier attributed the spike in recoveries to its enhanced data reconciliation efforts under its “Oplan Recovery” initiative to actively track the condition of patients. This will be done every 15 days.

Dizon explained that the agency tracked cases confirmed from July 16 and earlier and traced all the way to the beginning of June. The country tallied 18,086 infections as of end-May and added more than 43,000 confirmed cases by mid-July.

The country now has 89,374 confirmed cases, surpassing China’s numbers at around 87,000 based on the Johns Hopkins University tracker. 

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