On surpassing Indonesia's COVID-19 cases: Palace says Philippines doing more tests
The Philippines is doing more tests for coronavirus disease infection why it could have recorded more cases than Indonesia, Malacañang said on Friday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said while the Philippines has already surpassed the COVID-19 cases of Indonesia and is now with the highest number of cases in Southeast Asia, it did not mean that virus infections in the neighboring country was lesser.
"If we are going to look at the population of the two countries, the tests that we are conducting relative to our population is 1.5 percent compared with the 0.34 percent in Indonesia," he said in a virtual press briefing.
"Because we are testing more aggressively, it's not true that we have more cases than Indonesia. Indonesians just don't know who are sick among them; at least us, we know who are sick," he said.
He stressed the need to look for the "whole context" and "it is important that our decision is based on data and science."
Roque noted that COVID-19 tests in the country has reached 1,643,539 or an average of 29,938 tests per day.
On Thursday, COVID-19 cases in the Philippines reached 119,460, surpassing Indonesia's 118,753.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, in the same press briefing, cautioned the public in interpreting the data, saying that it should be put in the right context.
She cited that different countries have different number of population as well at health systems.
"We should interpret cautiously," she said.
Roque also said there are more isolation facilities in the country and those who have been tested positive for COVID-19 are immediately being isolated to prevent the spread of the virus.
"As what Donald Trump has said, for those who want to see lower figures, stop the testing. But it's not our policy. Our policy is to further strengthen the testing because we want to know where the COVID-19 is so that we can isolate and trace those who have exposure and treat them," he said. Celerina Monte/DMS