The number of new COVID-19 cases in the country may have decreased significantly in the past few weeks, but the country, like the rest of the world, remains under a pandemic. This is why it came as a total shock that the Department of Health (DOH) announced that it will no longer issue the case bulletins that have been publicized on a daily basis since the start of the pandemic.
DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire made the announcement during its December 27 press briefing. Shortly after, DOH issued a short post on the matter on its social media pages.
“The public tracker, which has been operational since the start of the pandemic, contains all information being provided in the case bulletin and daily situation report. Hence, to streamline public communication, the case bulletin and the daily situation report will no longer be issued separately as social media card and PDF file, respectively,” the post said.
However, DOH clarified that it will continue to post updates on its online COVID tracker, a daily dashboard that provides an overview of the pandemic’s relevant indicators, compared to the daily snapshot of the case bulletin shared on social media.
In line with this development, Vergerie also said that they’re taking all the necessary steps for their website not to crash after the transition has been made. At the same time, they also plan to present a more condensed analysis of COVID-19 data for everyone’s convenience.
When asked about the issue, acting presidential spokesperson Karlo Nograles, who also co-chairs the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, said that “the focus right now is vaccination.”
“The reason behind that is right now we are ramping up our vaccination and the focus right now is the vaccination,” said Nograles. “That being said, anyone can continue to track the numbers through the DOH COVID tracker… The tracker will suffice for now with providing regular updates, the IATF will continue to monitor all of these indicators we have been looking at from the very start.”
As a result, a lot of Filipinos have been strongly encouraging the DOH to reverse their decision and continue posting daily updates on their social media pages for people’s convenience. With the new Omicron variant currently wreaking havoc around the world, now more than ever, it’s important that the public be fully aware of the COVID-19 situation in the country. Let’s hope DOH listens to the public’s concerns accordingly.