DOH: Coronavirus data error 'less than 1 percent,' already corrected

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 13 2020 01:05 PM | Updated as of May 13 2020 02:50 PM

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MANILA (UPDATE) - The Department of Health said Wednesday it had corrected errors on its novel coronavirus data which comprise "less than 1 percent" of the information that serves as basis for putting millions of Filipinos under lockdown. 

The University of the Philippines' Resilience Institute earlier said there were "alarming errors" on the agency's data on patients with COVID-19, which also mismatched the tally of local governments. 

The errors were from the DOH's April 24 and 25 data drops, and private citizens also reported "other inconsistencies," said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III. 

"As early as April 26, we have since caught and corrected these issues and very much appreciate the UP Resilience Institute for raising their concerns," he told reporters. 

"The issues raised are less than 1 percent of the whole data set and does not prejudice the overall interpretation of data and decision-making," he added. 

The DOH continuously rectifies any issue like inconsistencies in the formatting of the date, case classification and proper identification of the location, said Duque. 

The National Task Force on COVID-19 checks data from both the health department and local governments, said its chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. 

"Kung mayroon man pong discrepancy... pumupunta po ako sa baba, tinitingnan ko po ang impormasyon," he said. "I believe hindi po tayo nagkamali na magkaroon po ng shifting [ng lockdown]." 

(If there is a discrepancy, I go to the ground and examine the information. I believe we did not make a mistake in shifting the lockdown.)

The government earlier announced that Metro Manila, Laguna province and Cebu City would shift to a modified lockdown until the end of the month while the rest of the country will have fewer restrictions

The DOH and World Health Organization are setting up a new digital system that is expected to minimize encoding errors through automated data collection, said Duque.