Time-based recovery tagging by DOH brings active cases to 12% on 04.21.2021

After the weekend recovery haul, the Health Agency has continuously reported time-based recovery with 19,699 new recoveries today and 9,227 new cases reported. With a positivity rate of 19.5 percent, we will most likely see more than 10,000 cases again tomorrow.

On April 5, 2021, the Department of Health released circular number 2021-0122 on “Reiteration of Prevention, Detection, Isolation, Treatment and Reintegration (PIDTR) Strategies for COVID-19 in Light of the Implementation of Enhance Community Quarantine in NCR Plus Bubble” https://doh.gov.ph/sites/default/files/health-update/dc2021-0122.pdf

Two highlights in this circular included the use of rapid antigen tests by LGUs in accordance with Department Memorandum 2021-0169 (Interim Guidelines on Rapid Antigen Test Reporting for the NCR Plus Bubble https://doh.gov.ph/sites/default/files/health-update/dm2021-0169.pdf) and the reiteration of disposition of patients with suspect, probably and confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Based on this circular, repeat testing shall NOT be required for the discharge criteria of suspect, probable and confirmed COVID-19 cases, provided that a medical doctor certifies or clears the patient. The criteria for clearance are:

  • Patients with mild symptoms who have completed at least 10 days of isolation from the onset of illness AND have been asymptomatic or clinically recovered for 3 consecutive days may already be discharged.
  • Patients with moderate, severe or critical symptoms who have completed at least 21 days of isolation in a hospital from the onset of illness and have been asymptomatic or clinically recovered for 3 consecutive days may already be discharged
  • Asymptomatic confirmed cases who remained asymptomatic for at least 10 days from date of specimen collection may already be discharged.
  • Close contacts who remain asymptomatic for at least 14 days from date of exposure may already discontinue their quarantine.

There are 124 new deaths reported today and the case fatality rate based on patient outcomes (recoveries and deaths) now stands at 1.92%. Close to 120,000 cases are still active (12.1%).

It was unusual that the number of ICU beds suddenly freed up (of course unless many died, or many survived and were stepped down to less critical care). However, highlighted is the total number of critical, severe, and moderate active cases, which is around 2% of the total active cases. One should also remember that when looking at this data, the classification of patient status is NOT cast in stone. Patients who are asymptomatic may become severe within the disease period. Those who may have been severe initially may have eventually responded to treatment. As this information is not provided by the DoH, it would be interesting to find out what the initial clinical status of patients were at the time of reporting and how they progressed or recovered during the whole duration of illness. For example, did the asymptomatic patients stay asymptomatic all throughout the isolation period? If they did not, what the progression of the disease during the disease interval? This would provide us a better picture of how the healthcare system is coping so that we can understand better on how to improve allocation of resources.

The granular data per region, NCR, top ten provinces and top ten cities are provided below

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