DOH updates COVID-19 tracker after days of non-moving figures

April 24, 2023 - 6:56 PM
This June 2016 photo shows Shrine of Saint Lazarus or San Lazaro Hospital, DOH Compound, Rizal Avenue, Santa Cruz, Manila. (Judgefloro/Wikimedia Commons)

The COVID-19 tracker of the health department released an update after failing to upload data for two days.

The development came on the evening of Monday, April 24, its usual time of upload on their website.

The non-update had concerned some Filipinos, especially after the government’s pandemic task force recently updated the public about the COVID-19 alert levels in some areas.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) on April 22 uploaded a resolution about the COVID-19 alert levels in 26 areas, mentioning that their Alert Level 2 would be maintained.

It has been a while since the IATF-EID announced updates about the COVID-19 alert levels.

Some online Filipinos were alarmed after some news outlets reported that the COVID-19 alert level was “raised,” prompting the health agency to issue a clarification.

The Department of Health said that the alert level update was made because of the low COVID-19 vaccination rates. It said that the areas mentioned have not yet reached the target of 70% vaccination coverage.

“Meeting these targets will allow these areas to be de-escalated to Alert Level 1,” it explained.

Nevertheless, the IATF’s COVID-19 alert level announcement prompted Filipinos to remind each other to keep on diligently observing the public health protocols such as masking and physical distancing.

READ: ‘Meron pa rin’: Pinoys reminded of COVID-19’s existence amid IATF’s alert level update

‘Technical glitch?’ 

Some who read the IATF’s announcement had attempted to check the DOH’s COVID-19 tracker which posts daily updates about the new number of COVID cases, recoveries, and deaths.

It also includes the number of active COVID-19 cases.

“Ako lang ba or is this tracker not updated at all?” a Twitter user asked before in response to the reports about IATF’s COVID-19 alert level update.

Others shared their observations on their own accounts or through a response to a Twitter post.

“Walang update ang DOH COVID-19 Tracker for April 22, 2023. Technical glitch uli (ang COVID-Kaya System)?” a Pinoy asked in response to a COVID-19 status update shared by OCTA Research fellow Guido David last Friday.

The research fellow has been regularly posting COVID-19 status updates on his Twitter account based on the data from the DOH.

David’s last update covers the April 21 data.

David himself also took note of the DOH’s non-update before.

“In the meantime, DOH still has not yet updated the DataDrop since 4.21.23 @i_am_negatron @docbenjisays,” he tweeted on April 23, tagging some personalities.

“Doc, any update [on] new cases and new recoveries as of April 22-23. Thanks,” a former professor said to David.

Latest data from the DOH’s COVID-19 tracker shows figures dated April 24, Monday.

The country has a total of 4,089,394 COVID-19 cases. Of these, 4,336 are actively infected.

As of Monday, there are 429 additional cases reported.

There are 4,018,614 and 66,444 COVID-19 recoveries and deaths logged, respectively.

The COVID-19 tracker is regularly updated by the health agency to give the public a glimpse of the country’s COVID situation.

It includes figures on the total number of cases, those actively infected, the number of new cases, recoveries, and deaths.

The tracker also includes an epidemiological graph to visualize how the viral disease progress, as well as figures on cities, provinces, and regions with the most number of cases.

It additionally shows the data about the COVID-19 testing and the weekly positivity rate — or the percentage of people who tested positive among those who were tested overall.

Last year, similar concerns were raised when the DOH announced that it would stop publishing daily case bulletins in favor of weekly reports.

“Nawala na ba ‘yung COVID para tumigil? Bayad naman sila, ‘di ba? So bakit? Paki-explain in 2 [two] pages,” a Twitter user said before.

A physician previously said that if the health agency was “serious” about ending the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, it should “continue to inform the public of the burden of disease.”

READ: Why Filipinos want to continue receiving DOH’s daily COVID-19 cases updates