DESPITE RISE IN COVID-19 CASES, CFR CONTINUES TO DECREASE
Press Release/21 July 2020 
 
 
Despite the rise in COVID-19 cases, the country’s case fatality rate (CFR) shows a decreasing trend. Both numbers also indicate that the death rate might be reaching a point of stability. These findings, presented by epidemiologist Dr. DJ Darwin Bandoy on Monday’s Beat COVID-19 Virtual Presser aired last July 20, present a more encouraging outlook of the Philippines’ fight against COVID-19.
 
“​Makikita po natin yung pag ​ -improve.​ Nung mga nakaraang buwan,​ ang CFR​ po ay ​around 6% at medyo bumababa na po sya sa 2%. ​Dalawa po yung nakikita nating factors dito—nababawasan yung bilang ng mga pumapanaw at nag-i-increase ​po yung pag-detect natin,” Bandoy explained. The physician is a member of the UP COVID-19 Pandemic Response Team, a Ph.D. candidate in the University of California, and founder of the Philippine Society of Epidemiology.
 
As the Department of Health (DOH) endeavors to tackle the trends in the country’s COVID-19 response on a more frequent basis, Health OIC-Undersecretary Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire explained that data analysis is an important part of a pandemicresponse.Itisaweaponthatwill enable the government, private and public sectors to make informed decisions and be better prepared for any issues that may arise.
 
“​Sa pamamagitan ng malinaw na pagka-intindi ng mga datos, nabibigyan natin ang lahat ng kakayahan na maging parte ng solusyon at gabayan ang masa at lahat ng sektor na kumilos at magdesisyon ng naaayon sa kanilang ahensya at sambahayan, nang sa gayon ay magkaroon sila ng mas matibay na tsansang makipaglaban sa ​ COVID-19,” Singh-Vergeire said.
 
Bandoy’s data analysis presentation showed that the number of deaths is reaching equilibrium, while the Philippines’ CFR is steadily decreasing. He attributed the steady decrease in the CFR to increased testing capacity, compliance with the overall improved health system capacity, and improvement in treatment protocols.
 
Bandoy further enumerated the many factors that show the rise of cases. He explained that “​May ibat’ ibang dahilan po sa pagtaas ng bilang ng mga kaso, una meron pong community transmission​ kapag po hindi nasusunod yung minimum health standards.​ Yun din pong pag dami ng kaso gawa ng community transmission ​mas nade-detect​ po kasi tumaas na yung ating testing capacity, ​pumapalo na po siyang around 26,000 tests per day kasi marami na rin pong nag-open up ​na bagong mga ​ testing center.” 
 
At the same time, Bandoy also revealed that as more cases are detected, the CFR can still continue to lessen. He elaborated, “​Sa kabila po ng pag-increase​ng bilang ng mga kaso, hindi po ganun ka-steep yung kaakibat na pagdami ng bilang ng mga pumanaw ​ . ​Meron po tayong tinatawag na pag ​ -​stabilize ng bilang ng mortalities or death. ​Sa ​ Pilipinas ​po ay may 1,831​at kami po ay nakikiramay sa mga kamag-anak po ng mga biktimang pumanaw po sa COVID-19.”
 
The California-based Filipino epidemiologist concluded, “Decrease in CFR is attributed to overall improvement in healthcare system particularly patient management.​ Ang pag​ stabilize​ po ng bilang ng pagkamatay ay ina-associate ​po sa pag-improve​ sa quality ng healthcare .Pamilyar na po tayo kaysa nung mga nakaraang buwan, mas marami na pong alam at merong mga advisory ​po at ​ treatment protocol ​na ​ nag-improve.”
 
In terms of patient management, Bandoy honored the frontliners and credited the healthcare workers for the positive turn of events. ​“Ito rin po ay bunga ng pagtatrabaho ng ating mga frontliners ​at sila po ay ating ina-appreciate at ​pinasasalamatan sa kanilang patuloy na pagsisilbi sa ating bayan ​ ,” Bandoy said.
 
Although the CFR is generally going down, however, Visayas remains under close watch. Developments happening in the region are a reminder for constant vigilance. Bandoy emphasized, “​May pagdami ng pag-detect ​ng kaso, at meron din pong patuloy na pagdami ng community transmission​ kaya importante po na sumunod tayo sa mga minimum health standards dahil patuloy pa rin po yung pag dami ng kaso.” Bandoy also cautioned against sharing unvalidated information to avoid confusing the public. “Pabayaan po natin sa mga valid na may training dito lalong lalo na yung mga epidemiologists na nakakaintindi kasi pag nag-share po tayo ng mga ganun na computation na wala namang proper training, magkakaroon po tayo ng maling impormasyon,” he reminded.