Some 15,841 coronavirus cases that were reported between September 25 and October 2 have not been tabulated on the government dashboard as the “excel sheet did not have enough columns”. While the people testing positive were informed, their contacts were not traced due to the lost data.
People attend a busking show in London (Photo: AP)
The Public Health England lost data on close to 16,000 coronavirus cases as the Excel spreadsheet did not have enough columns as it reached its maximum file size. While the technical issue has been resolved, it has led to the UK misplacing data on 15,841 coronavirus cases in the government system.
Some 15,841 coronavirus cases that were reported between September 25 and October 2 have not been tabulated on the government’s national track record and trace system.
Though those testing positive were told of their status, their contacts — potentially around 50,000 people — weren’t traced because the positive cases were not updated on the system. It is suspected that this glitch could have allowed the virus to flourish.
“Initial findings indicate that the issue was caused by the fact that some files containing positive test results exceeded their maximum file size, and they then failed to load into the central system because they couldn’t get through,” a spokesperson told BBC.
The British government has, meanwhile, launched an investigation into how nearly 16,000 new coronavirus infections went unreported as a result of a technical glitch.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told lawmakers Monday that the problem related to the “automated transfer of files.”
“This is a serious issue which is being investigated fully,” Hancock said. “Now it is critical we work together to put it right and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
The unreported cases were added to the government’s daily new infections total over the weekend, boosting Saturday’s number to 12,872 cases and Sunday’s to 22,961. That compared to an average of 7,000 new cases a day the four days before.