COVID-19 task force special adviser demands better data reporting from DOH

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Dr. Tony Leachon, Special Adviser to the National Task Force on COVID-19, expressed his disappointment in the Department of Health performance in the COVID-19 crisis, pointing out the inaccuracies in their released data.

“You don’t just say those numbers there without explanation whether this is fresh or the deaths were actually from a month ago because based on the decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Monday, they will rely on those particular figures. And number two, what must be prioritized given we have finite resources?” Leachon stressed.

“Would it be testing, contact tracing, isolation, quarantine, what is the true picture in other areas? Like for example, in Cebu, it’s rising at epidemic proportions,” he added.

“Eh June 2 pa lang nakita ko ang trending but we have yet to wait for 14 or 15, hindi ba dapat ini-stop na siya a week earlier para dapat maayos na siya?” 

[Since June 2, I’ve been seeing what’s trending but we have yet to wait for 14 or 15, shouldn’t we stop it a week earlier so we can fix the reporting?]

He also mentioned that many experts and groups, such as infectious diseases expert Dr. Benjamin Co, the UP Pandemic Team, the Asian Institute of Management, and the Ateneo University, have shown initiative and willingness to help the government report the cases accurately and could be tapped anytime to “lessen the accountability” on the part of the DOH.

“O, andyan na lahat ng private sector na gusto tumulong (Now you have everyone from the private sector who are willing to help) so no one will question right now the credibility of the data,” he added.

Although he recognized that most government leaders and agencies have been performing at their best capacity, he stressed that no matter how hard they work, their response all boils down to the reliability of the data they produce.

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