The Jakarta Post
The national COVID-19 task force spokesperson Wiku Adisasmito has admitted that there are data discrepancies between the central government and regional administrations, and the central government is synchronizing the data.
“We are currently synchronizing the data between regional administrations and the central government. This is because of the large amount of data that we have to gather and validate and it takes time to process,” Wiku said in an online press briefing on Tuesday.
He said that the government was currently perfecting the data to be more consistent in monitoring the development of COVID-19 and to take measured policy responses.
“The Health Ministry is currently coordinating with regional administrations [to synchronize the data]. We urge the regional administrations to contact the Health Ministry to synchronize the data to be able be used as a navigational tool [for COVID-19 policies],” Wiku said.
However, Wiku did not mention the names of regions that reported the data discrepancies.
Previously, the Central Java provincial administration had alleged that the national COVID-19 task force had made a mistake in counting positive COVID-19 cases in the province, inflating the numbers into the highest increase among other provinces on Sunday.
According to the task force, Central Java had up to 2,036 news cases on Sunday. However, according to Central Java data, there were only 844 new cases on that day.
“This comes as a surprise for all of us. The release said that Central Java had the highest number with 2,036 new cases on Sunday. This is far from our own figures, in which we only found 844 new cases,” Central Java Health Agency head Yulianto Prabowo said in a written statement on Monday.
He said that the provincial administration found up to 519 data duplications in the central government’s release.
“We also found that there were 75 cases that were republished from the previous week,” he said.
He said that another instance of data duplication happened in Kendal regency. According to the central government data, a patient’s name was written up to five times. There were also other instances of old cases being republished in the national task force press release on Sunday. Some of the data went as far back as June.
“Of the national task force data on 2,036 cases [in Central Java], a lot of them are redundant. Some of the cases were also old and had been published months before but were somehow released again yesterday [Sunday],” Yulianto said.
He said that Central Java had cooperated with the national task force to correct the data so it would not cause panic among the public.
Meanwhile, Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo said that he had asked the public to remain calm about the significantly increased case numbers released by the central government.
He said people could access the COVID-19 data at corona.jatengprov.go.id.
“Our officials are constantly updating the data, so the provincial government always transparently discloses the details to the public on our official website,” Ganjar said.
Meanwhile, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo also criticized the Central Java and Jakarta provincial administrations for having the highest rises in COVID-19 cases in the past few weeks. (ami)
Editor’s note: This article is part of a public campaign by the COVID-19 task force to raise people’s awareness about the pandemic.