MANILA—The Department of Health (DOH), the main frontline agency on Covid-19 prevention, response and recovery announced April 9 their plan to improve department’s Covid-19 tracking system. As such, the online tracker (https://ncovtracker.doh.gov.ph) will not be accessible to the public from April 8 to April 11, 2012.
The announcement received by Sandigan News said “We are currently completing all encoding backlogs of cases nationwide and harmonizing the various information systems used by sub-national laboratories.”
It further said “On Sunday, April 12, 2020, we will re-launch the tracker with updated graphs and charts which will be easier to understand. Downloadable anonymized patient-level data sets will be provided to allow the academic and research community to undertake further analyses.”
In the past weeks, regional DOH offices had complained of unconfirmed news circulating in the internet about figures and circumstances of alleged infected persons, persons under monitoring or persons under investigation. On April 6, 2020, DOH-Davao Region warned groups and individuals who were disclosing alleged Covid-19 patients. The said regional office clarified that they did not release the names nor supplied any information of Covid-19 positive people who were subject to their contract tracing.
The case in point was the alleged list of “sabungero” who attended the three-day derby in Davao City circulating in the internet which alarmed the department and the City Health Office. “DOH, together with the intelligence community of the Philippine National Police, has started investigating and tracing down the origin of the so-called data breach or pure fake news,” DOH officials said.
Republic Act 11332, also known as the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Disease and Health Events of Public Concern Act prohibits the unauthorized disclosure of private and confidential information of any medical condition or treatment procedure of patients. Any violator may be meted with a fine of not less than Php 20,000 and imprisonment of not more than one month or both, at the discretion of the proper court of justice.