“We would like to clarify that DOHhas never issued any order to stop the census or reporting of deaths, or anycase related to COVID-19 to any health facility,” Duque said in astatement. The DOOH chief also said the DOH isclosely coordinating with the Department of the Interior and Local Government,as well as local government units to ensure that guidelines are followed. “Pasig City and Quezon City havealready designated crematoriums to address this matter, we encourage otherlocal government units to do the same,” he said. “The DOH urged the publicto exercise discretion when sharing information and to verify first throughDOH’s official channels and legitimate sources.” Duque added all hospitals and healthfacilities are mandated to report on admissions and other updates regardingCOVID-19 but vowed to still look on the allegations. DOH secretary Francisco Duque III beliedthe allegations that a hospital based in Metro Manila was “instructed tostop counting COVID-19 deaths” as posted by GMA 7 news anchor ArnoldClavio on his social media account on Saturday. The COVID-19 death toll in the countryhas risen to 247 after the DOH confirmed on Saturday that 26 more people havesuccumbed to the viral disease. There are now 4,428 confirmed COVID-19 cases inthe country, while 157 have recovered./PN MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH)clarified it has never ordered hospitals to conceal the number of patients whohave died due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the country.