There are 3 million undetected Covid-19 cases in the Philippines, says study

Manila, Aug 20 (efe-epa).- There have been some 3 million undetected cases of Covid-19 between April and June, according to a study published this week by the Ateneo de Manila University, one of the most prestigious ones in the Philippines.

“Many Filipinos are plausibly unaware that have COVID-19, and are likely exposing their household, immediate community, and workplace to risk of infection,” said the study by the Ateneo Center for Economic Research and Development.

“The same set of Filipinos is not receiving the proper treatment because of the absence of diagnosis,” the study added.

This estimate by the university would account for 2.6 percent of the country’s population, which is significantly higher than that of other countries in the region, such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

The methodology used in the study to arrive at this estimate focused on recalculating the likely number of cases based on the fatality rate of Covid-19.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said at a press conference that they would have to review the data presented by the study, but underlined that at the moment hospitals in the country were accepting all Covid-19 patients, so all those who have fallen sick have been receiving treatment.

The Philippines on Thursday confirmed 4,339 fresh cases of the novel coronavirus, taking the total to 178,022 cases, including 2,883 deaths, while the number continues to progressively rise since March.

Since the start of the epidemic, around two million people have been tested for Covid-19 in the Philippines, accounting for 1.85 percent of its 108 million population.

Earlier this week, the World Health Organization’s representative in Asia-Pacific, Takeshi Kasai, said at a press conference that more than half of the cases in the Philippines were concentrated among people aged 20 to 40 years, and were mostly asymptomatic or with mild symptoms. Thus, they were unknowingly helping spread the virus.

Kasai stressed that the pandemic was entering a new phase in the Asia-Pacific region, and that early detection and rapid response was extremely crucial at the local and national levels, especially in the Philippines, which has been the hotspot of the dreaded virus in the region. EFE-EPA


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