DOH DENIES ORDERING HOSPITALS TO KEEP COVID-19 DEATHS SECRET; DISCOURAGES PUBLIC SPRAYING, MISTING

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By Joey Natividad

Allegedly issuing orders to hospitals to keep COVID-19 deaths secret was denied by the Department of Health (DOH).

On Saturday, April 11, DOH said, in an official post in its website, “there have been circulating reports that a hospital based in Metro Manila was allegedly instructed to stop counting COVID-19 deaths.”

“DOH clarifies that it has never issued any order to stop the census or reporting of deaths, or any case related to COVID-19 to any health facility,” the official statement said.

“We urge the public to exercise discretion when sharing information, to fact-check and verify first through DOH’s official channels and legitimate sources,” DOH reminds the public.

The DOH denial came after media and TV newscaster Arnold Clavio said in an Instagram post about a hospital was allegedly instructed by DOH to stop counting COVID-19 deaths. Similar postings were monitored in the social media.

DOH claimed it has contacted Clavio for clarification.

DOH said it is a mandatory policy requiring hospitals to report on matters related to COVID-19 cases, including data on admitted patients, recoveries, and deaths.

Meanwhile, DOH discourages public spraying and misting being done by town/city level health personnel.

The agency says it does not recommend spraying or misting. There is no evidence to support that spraying of surfaces or large scale misting of areas, indoor or outdoor with disinfecting agents, kills the virus.

Spraying or misting has an additional health concern as it can:
1. Cause pathogens to be dispersed further during spraying
2. Result to skin irritation and inhalation of chemicals
3. Cause environmental pollution

DOH advises to soak objects or disinfect surfaces to kill the virus.

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