DOH guidelines lead to 'low' fatality rate
The Department of Health (DOH) said the early issuance of guidelines for the treatment of Covid-19 in the Philippines has contributed to keeping a low case fatality rate in the country.
"In February, when we started there was really just supportive care. Meaning, pupunta kang hospital, suero... that's really just what you do for a typical viral infection," Dr. Beverly Ho, DOH Director for Promotion and Communication Service, said during a virtual forum with a partner company.
"We were very fortunate that we have very committed frontliners and also medical society who rose to the challenge... By end of March, we have a clinical practice guideline, care of our medical society, and they're members of public and private sector," she added.
The first three COVID-19 cases in the Philippines were all Chinese tourists—detected in late January and early February.
After a few weeks, on March 5, two Filipinos tested positive for the virus.
The total number of infected in the Philippines has now ballooned to 279,526 COVID-19 cases, of whom 4,830 died.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that though the number of confirmed cases is increasing, the case fatality rate in the Philippines has gone down to 1.6 percent in August from 6.7 percent in April.
Aside from proper treatment of the virus early on, Ho said the Filipinos' value for the elderly family members also contributed in lowering the COVID-19 death rate.
"Talagang nakinig ang mga tao when we said let the elderly stay home. I think that was one of the more crucial turning points for lowering our case fatality rate," she said.
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