Positivity rate not good basis to determine real Covid situation

By Ma. Teresa Montemayor

May 2, 2023, 4:54 pm

<p>Department of Health officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire <em>(File photo)</em></p>

Department of Health officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire (File photo)

MANILA – The positivity rate or the number of people testing positive for coronavirus is not a good basis in determining the real picture of the country’s Covid-19 situation.

In a media briefing on Tuesday, Department of Health (DOH) officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire noted that the computation of positivity rate is dependent on the recorded results of reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests which, recently, have shown a tremendous decrease.

"Hindi po magandang basehan ang positivity rate sa ngayon para mabase natin kung ano ang sitwasyon natin sa Covid (Currently, the positivity rate is not a good basis to determine to real situation on Covid-19)," she said.

Positivity rate is affected by the number of individuals getting tested through RT-PCR. However, most Filipinos are using antigen tests now, she said.

"Some of our citizens are not having any tests at all but are just isolating themselves when they are sick," she added.

Hence, the exact number of individuals infected with Covid-19 is not recorded.

In the recent week, the DOH recorded 4,456 new infections with an average of 637 cases per day. The figure was 42 percent higher than the previous week (April 17 to 23).

Vergeire assured the public that the hike in infections does not translate to increased hospital admission, severe and critical cases, and number of deaths.

“Our healthcare utilization rates remain low risk and this is all because of the wall of immunity that we have more than 100 percent coverage for the fully vaccinated Filipinos," she said.

The DOH data for the recent week also showed that only 15 percent of 2,021 beds in intensive care units (ICU) were used and only 18.1 percent of 17,480 non-ICU beds were occupied.

As of March 20, more than 78.4 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated. More than 23.8 million have received their first booster dose and almost 4.4 million have received their 2nd booster shot.

When asked about some people treating Covid-19 just like the common flu, Vergeire said it was important to isolate themselves as soon as they have the symptoms.
“That’s the moving forward direction, na ang sakit na ito ay kelangan lamang ma-manage, at alam mo kung paano mo ma-manage ang sarili mo, alam mo kung paano mo po-proteksyunan ang sarili mo (That’s the moving forward direction, that this disease needs to be managed, and you know how to manage yourself, and you know how to protect yourself)," she added. (PNA)