The former Health Secretary and now Iloilo 1st District Rep. Janette Garin that the Department of Health lied in providing data on breakthrough infections of COVID-19 in the country.
In the plenary debates of the House of Representatives on the DOH budget on Tuesday, Garin asserted that the number of breakthrough infections is higher when looking at the situation in hospitals than the data released by the department.
“The data is still being collected by the DOH, so it is not complete. The summary that we have based on the available data that we have, there are a total of 242 cases that were reported as breakthrough infections, 87% of which are mild, and asymptomatic while 10% are hospitalized, and 2% are dead,” said Quezon City 5th district Rep. Duke Frasco, the sponsor of the DOH budget when Garin requested DOH data.
Garin answered: “I am telling you that is a big lie.”
“(Only) 242 cases? Eh sa San Joaquin Hospital nga lang, they already have 60 cases. In our district hospital, we have probably 50 cases, and we know for a fact that in PGH, the breakthrough infections will not be less than 50. So nakapaimposible naman po ng 242.”
DOH accused of falsifying data on breakthrough infections
She said she was not saying that the vaccines against COVID-19 obtained by the government are no longer effective but that the DOH should be transparent in its data so that local officials can respond to the infection situation in their areas.
“I do hope that the DOH will have it in their conscience to be transparent to our people. Kasi napakaimposible nga po ng 242. This is a war, and our decisions are based on the transparency that you are showing,” said Garin.
“I am not saying that we failed. I am saying we need to recalibrate information because we owe it to our people to be transparent.”
Frasco replied that the DOH does not yet hold the total number of breakthrough infections because it is still gathering additional data.
On the other hand, Garin believes that the concept of “herd immunity” is no longer true when counting those vaccinated with COVID-19.