DOH: ‘Backup system’ in place amid technical failures of COVIDKaya

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 09 2021 05:25 PM

MANILA—The Department of Health (DOH) on Saturday assured that it continues to fix issues linked to data-collating server COVIDKaya, a problem that has persisted for more than 2 weeks now. 

The issues began on September 24 when the DOH posted no new deaths in its bulletin, and has lingered through Saturday, causing the delay of usual daily case reporting scheduled every 4 p.m. 

But Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the department has implemented solutions as they continue to sort out the technical issues with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). 

"May mga short-term solutions po tayo katulad mamayang gabi, titigil ang COVIDKaya from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. tomorrow (Sunday) para maiayos natin ang minor issues," Vergeire said in a public briefing.

Long term, authorities have agreed to put up additional servers and a backup system to prevent the issues from happening in the future, she added.

In late September, Dr. Alethea De Guzman, the agency's epidemiology bureau director, acknowledged that the digital platform's server already reached its capacity. 

De Guzman said the COVIDKaya server went down from September 23 to 26 and was unable to handle, receive and process a bulk of the raw data pushed from the COVID-19 Document Repository System.

"Long term would be we are also trying to have these backup system para dito sa DOH. Kung saka-sakaling magkaroon ulit ng ganitong isyu, mayroon na po tayong ganitong back-up and hindi tayo nagkukulang sa mga datos na ire-report sa ating mga kababayan," Vergeire said. 

No details about how the backup system works were given.

Before the DOH releases its daily case bulletin, data is extracted from COVIDKaya at 1 p.m. daily. This line list undergoes necessary formatting and initial preprocessing in preparation for deduplication. 

The tagging of duplicates, which is then done through automated and manual processes, will be reconciled to the original entry before being dropped from the line list.

Finally, the deduplicated lines is further checked for consistency and validity of case information. The data drop is generated and is used to update the COVID-19 Tracker, according to the DOH. 

The agency had reported separate advisories for its backlogs, including new cases, duplicates, and additional deaths, due to the system issue. 

On Friday, DOH logged 10,670 new cases and 191 new deaths, pushing the country's total reported infections to 2,643,494 and total fatalities to 39,232.