DOH: Over 4,000 COVID-19 cases removed from tally due to validation process

The Department of Health explained that the over 4,000 COVID-19 cases removed from it’s tally from June to August were a result of its “validation process.”

Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario S. Vergeire
Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario S. Vergeire (PCOO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told the ANC on Monday that its central database gets information from its disease reporting units which are the hospitals, laboratories, and local government units.

During the course of its validation, Vergeire said some of its disease reporting units, particularly the laboratories, would “change their entries” because of “encoding errors.

“Sometimes, when we try to validate, there would be those tagged as deaths but they are still active cases and alive, those tagged as recovered but they would have died already,” she said.

‘How is the validation process done?’

Vergeire said the DOH central office would receive a list of cases from its disease reporting units and will review it for errors.

“Once we find different issues, we send them back, this list, to our regional offices. Our regional offices would be the ones to coordinate with the LGUs so they can immediately revise or correct whatever uses that were found on the data list,” she explained.

Vergeire said he disease reporting units are given five days to validate the list, and on weekends the national office “will further clean the data."

‘Accurate numbers’

Vergeire said that DOH has always been transparent in the changes in its tally.

“In our case bulletin, at the bottom part, the number of duplicates that were removed or number of those tagged initially as recovered maybe or active case and now has died, we also include that,” she said.

"We correct the numbers and it's being reported the following day, so our numbers are accurate,” she added.

‘No more validation backlog’

Vergeire assured the public that the DOH is now able “to better clean its data since it has already started creating its data management unit in the agency.

“For now, we don't have a validation backlog anymore because within 24 hours of the data being submitted to us, we immediately validate and we are able to bring it out and report it at once the following day,” she said.