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We possibly have 3 million undetected COVID-19 cases in the country as per Ateneo study

We possibly have 3 million undetected COVID-19 cases in the country as per Ateneo study


Remember when we asked for mass testing but the government said we didn’t have funds for it? Well, I guess we’re now paying the price for it.

As if the number of cases we currently have isn’t terrible enough, a working paper issued by Jan Frederick Cruz from the Department of Economics at the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) showed that the country may have around 3 million undetected COVID-19 cases.

The study was shared on Facebook last Tuesday, Aug. 18. It revealed that we have the “severest degree of underreported infections” among all ASEAN countries. Around 98 percent of local COVID-19 cases have gone undetected during the second quarter of the year.

The country had only confirmed, verified and recorded around 34,354 of possibly 2,812,891 positive cases from April to June 2020.


How did Cruz come up with these findings?

He multiplied the number of confirmed cases in the country by the ratio derived from the quotient of mortality.

Although the findings implied that Indonesia had a larger number of undetected cases (6,578,925 in total), “this observation disregards the population differences between the two countries.” But if we consider the population size as per Cruz, the Philippines is the “worst performer among the ASEAN-5 in controlling the spread of COVID-19.”

“It becomes more pressing now for the Philippine government to pursue mass testing. In sum, the inevitable policy direction for the Philippines is to aggressively implement the WHO recommendation of ‘test, trace, and isolate’ to avoid long-term health and economic distress,” wrote Cruz in his paper.


Header photo courtesy of Grig C. Montegrande for

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