The Department of Health (DOH) said it is now conducting a study on the case of Interior Secretary Eduardo Año who has tested positive for COVID-19 anew. DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said at this point they cannot say yet if Año’s case could be classified a “reinfection.” “It is too early to say that. We do not have enough evidence yet to say that there is reinfection — even around the world and even international experts have not given recommendations or announcements regarding reinfection,” said Vergeire during a television interview on Tuesday. “What happened to Secretary Año, we have referred this to our experts in the DOH and we are trying to study it right now,” she added.
Vergeire noted that the RT-PCR test is very sensitive and can even detect the remnants of the virus. “It might have been that these are remnants of the virus because RT-PCR is very sensitive. But since he has symptoms, we need to check the details in the laboratories — both from his first infection and now on his second infection,” she said. World Health Organization (WHO) Western Pacific Regional Director Dr. Takeshi Kasai said there is still no conclusive evidence about COVID-19 reinfection. “This is still an open question.
At the earlier stage of this pandemic, we received reports from countries that there are groups of people who continue to test positive with the PCR; or there are people who once tested negative but later found positive,” said Kasai during an online briefing on Tuesday. Kasai said that they continue to gather information on the matter. “The question is still open but we try to connect to countries and try to connect with researchers to continue to assess this information,” he added.