A health rights group debunked the claim of Philippine health officials that the country has begun to flatten the curve of COVID-19 cases.
The Coalition for People’s Right to Health said Health department data do not show a flattening of the curve but only a “regressing to the mean.”
The group said data showing the decreasing rate of positive cases, doubling time, and a low critical care capacity utilization “may be insufficient” to conclude that there is a flattening of the curve.
According to the Department of Health, only about 10 percent of individuals tested for the disease turned out positive, as opposed to the 13 percent earlier.
The Health department admitted that there are still backlogs in the test outcomes and the results reported were “taken about 10 days ago.”
“This may just be a statistical phenomenon of ‘regression to the mean’ — wherein because there is more testing or measurement, the numbers do not tend to be in the extremes, but rather gravitate towards an average,” said the coalition of health rights advocates.
“A hastily generated conclusion would not just be irresponsible, but a disservice to the people if coming from a government agency,” the group warned.
The World Health Organization earlier said the release of COVID-19 laboratory tests should only take 24 to 48 hours “but due to limited capacity, backlogs continue to be a problem.”
The coalition of health rights advocates said such delays hamper proper data analysis.
The group urged health authorities to be “transparent, responsible, and accountable for the data, inferences, and conclusions made with a disease that still has a lot of uncertainties.”
“Resorting to undue praise and premature celebrations in the middle of a pandemic while there is much work be done is an affront to the people’s right to health,” the group said.