UP Pandemic Response Team Notes ‘Data Errors’ in DOH Statistics

Published May 15, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Czarina Nicole Ong Ki

The Department of Health (DOH) provides the citizenry with daily case updates so that Filipinos will know how many confirmed cases there are, and how many people have died and survived from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) health crisis.

However, a member of the UP COVID-19 Pandemic Response Team revealed that some of the statistics provided by the Department of Health (DOH) contain “data errors” – ranging from numbers, gender, and even location.

Dr. Peter Julian Cayton, Associate Professor of UP School of Statistics said during an interview with GMA-7’s Dobol A sa Dobol B that they have been analyzing the data provided by the DOH since Day One of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country and they have noticed some “data errors.”

These errors include gender identification – from male to female and female to male, as well as errors in the location of the victims.

“Hindi naman sinasadya (It’s not intentional),” he said. “Naitatama naman ng DOH, pero may delay (It is eventually corrected by the DOH, but there are delays).”

Dobol A sa Dobol B’s Ali Sotto cited an example in Laguna, in which the DOH reported on May 3 that seven have died. However, the local government unit (LGU) reported 22 deaths.

Arnold Clavio, on the other hand, mentioned the incident in Cebu in which the cases reported by LGU is higher than the one reported by the health department.

When asked if these were isolated cases, Cayton explained that there are delays because the DOH undergoes a “validation process” before confirming a person is a COVID-19 positive patient.

As for discrepancies of data between the DOH and LGUs, Cayton said the DOH records the patients based on their place of residence while LGUs more often than not record patients based on where they are seeking treatment.

“We understand the delays, it’s very important for the DOH to have a validation process,” he said. However, Cayton is encouraging the DOH to do something and make its data “uniform” with those being released by LGUs.#