Editorial: Setting facts straight

LOCAL governments in Cebu have intensified their efforts to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), after the first case was recorded in Mandaue City recently.

According to the news report, the patient, a 65-year-old man, has a history of travel in Metro Manila and Mindanao but not outside the country, which led health authorities to wonder how he got infected.

The patient, who was recovering, was about to be discharged when swab samples taken from him and sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Muntinlupa, Metro Manila came back positive.

In Cebu City, 31 of the 65 patients under investigation (PUIs) tested negative for Covid-19, including the 27-year-old PUI who died of severe pneumonia in a private hospital on March 15.

Earlier, some people were insinuating on social media that the patient died due to complications from the coronavirus -- that there was a government cover-up -- even though the latter had been diagnosed with tuberculosis meningitis.

Nationwide, the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases rose to 217, with 15 new cases announced on Thursday, March 19, 2020. On the same day, the Department of Health (DOH) Central Office announced the recovery of another PUI, bringing the number of recovered patients to eight.

It is understandable that many members of the public are afraid. They’ve been bombarded by information on the pandemic, many of which focus on the death toll and not on the survival rate. It doesn’t help that many of them rely on social media and not legitimate news organizations or the World Health Organization (WHO) or the DOH to get their latest update on the disease.

According to the WHO, as of Friday, March 20, 245,613 had been infected globally with 10,048 deaths and 88,437 recovered.

There are currently 147,128 infected patients. Some 95 percent, or 139,750, display mild symptoms. The remaining 7,378, or five percent, are considered critical.

These are the facts.