Govt’s unified COVID-19 dashboard posts ‘zero’ figures. Netizens ask if that’s possible.

November 20, 2020 - 4:43 PM
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COVID-19 Dashboard
A screengrab of the national government's unified COVID-19 dashboard from covid19.gov.ph as of 3:11 p.m. on Nov. 20, 2020. (Screengrab by Interaksyon)

Filipinos noticed that the national government’s “Laging Handa” unified website meant to be an official platform for all coronavirus-related matters showed¬†zero data in terms of the number of coronavirus disease cases.

A Twitter user on Friday morning asked if anyone else has encountered seeing figures of zero instead of actual numbers in the government’s COVID-19 dashboard at covid19.gov.ph.

When some online users concurred with his observation, he quipped a verbal sigh of relief and recalled when the government had launched the website last March.

“Anyare?” the Twitter user asked.

Other Twitter user shared their own screengrabs of the website to confirm that it does not have any figures on their own end as well.

Another online user took a recording of her screen as further proof of the reports.

The “Laging Handa” unified website was launched last July, when it was still on its beta version, as a means to harmonize all of the information from different sources and give the general public easier access to information.

It was reported to be designated “as an official platform for all COVID-19-related matters,” according to the Philippine News Agency.

PNA said that the website features the “4Ks” or the government’s whole-of-nation approach towards beating the pandemic: “Kalusugan, Kabuhayan, Kaayusan, Kinabukasan.”

It added that the platform “also acts as a guide to direct the public to the information they need to acquire based from the 4Ks.”

The “Kalusugan” tab pertains to the supposed epidemiological data of COVID-19 cases, COVID-19 case maps, advisories and issuances from the Department of Health.

The “Kabuhayan” tab is meant to have direct links to other government programs which are relevant to jobs, cash assistance, and other economic advisories and safety nets.

The “Kaayusan” tab, on the other hand, is supposed to provide¬†practical information for interzonal and intrazonal guidelines, timeline of government policies and actions, and the #DismissDisinformation campaign which debunks unverified reports and other forms of disinformation that may affect the overall unified response to COVID-19.

The “Kinabukasan” Tab contains a list of government projects which supposedly aim to help the country “rise as one.”

The website also contains government resolutions, issuances, memorandum, guidelines, as well as¬†news, presidential briefings, and the “Laging Handa” briefing, among others.

The platform was launched by the Presidential Communications Operations Office in partnership with the Department of Information and Communications Technology. It is also powered by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA).

PIA Director-General Ramon Cualoping III said that it is important to have a unified message and a streamlined communication platform especially in a time of a pandemic.

“The Laging Handa Unified Website will provide accurate information in the time of COVID-19. This will fight fake news and disinformation that only foster panic in people.¬†This is in line with our mandate as government communicators. We will explain, explain, explain, until we kill the virus called fake news,” he said before.

Other COVID-19 trackers 

Meanwhile, the DOH has its own case tracker on its website through the “NCOV Tracker,” which gives an overview of the country’s COVID-19 situation, including information on health facilities.

The Office of the Vice President also collates data which includes a “daily breakdown by local government units.”

It is meant to present DOH’s data in a “simpler and more granular form,” according to Vice President Leni Robredo. She added that the tracker is updated everyday.

The University of the Philippines’ COVID-19 Pandemic Response Team also collates data through the endcov.ph portal meant to “provide the public with vital¬†information and tools in the fight against COVID-19,” according to a report.

There are also independent trackers such as the covid19stats.ph which sources its data from DOH and the John Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center and the covid19trackerph.com which features top provinces and localities in terms of COVID-19 figures, among others.