DOH: No order for hospitals to stop reporting COVID-19 deaths

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 11) — The Department of Health clarified on Saturday that it never ordered hospitals to conceal the number of patients who have died of COVID-19.

The DOH was responding to allegations that a hospital based in Metro Manila was "instructed to stop counting COVID-19 deaths."

"We would like to clarify that DOH 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 DOH said in a statement.

It stressed that all hospitals and health facilities are mandated to report on admissions and other updates in their fight against the coronavirus disease.

Health Secretary Franciso Duque III also took to Twitter to address the issue. "The DOH did NOT and will NEVER issue a directive for hospitals to conceal the number of COVID-19 deaths," he said.

The DOH is now looking into the allegations, which were published on the official Instagram page of broadcaster Arnold Clavio.

Citing an unnamed frontliner, Clavio said dead bodies are piled up in the hallway of a hospital, which was supposedly ordered to stop reporting on COVID-19 deaths. He asked Duque to clarify the issue.

Duque said Clavio has since given him the name of the hospital, which is now under probe.

The nationwide death toll has risen to 247 after the DOH confirmed on Saturday that 26 more people have succumbed to the coronavirus disease. There are now 4,428 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country, while 157 have recovered from the viral illness.