DOH: Late reporting of 2020 deaths due to delayed encoding

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Six out of the 176 COVID-19 fatalities on Thursday's case bulletin were traced as far back as September of last year. The late reporting of these deaths was due to delayed encoding of information into the COVIDKaya data storage system, the Department of Health (DOH) explained. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 9) — Six out of the 176 COVID-19 fatalities on Thursday's case bulletin were traced as far back as September of last year. The late reporting of these deaths was due to delayed encoding of information into the COVIDKaya data storage system, the Department of Health (DOH) explained.

The DOH's breakdown of the latest reported fatalities showed that four deaths (2%) occurred in November 2020, one (1%) in October 2020, and another (1%) in September 2020. The rest happened this year.

Asked if this was due to late encoding of data into COVIDKaya, the DOH simply answered "Yes."

The agency had been including addendums to its bulletins recently, stating that it is sorting out issues in the encoding of information and coordinating with the Epidemiology Surveillance Units - which are tasked to verify the deaths - to ensure data is up to date.

On Wednesday, the DOH also issued a statement clarifying that the country's case fatality rate (CFR) as of Dec. 7 is at 1.61%, below the global average of 2%. The clarification comes after Nikkei Asia reported that the Philippines' "short-term case fatality rate stands at over 9% - the second highest in the world, according to Our World Data," despite the country improving its ranking from 103rd to 57th in its COVID-19 Recovery Index.

The 9% was based on the number of reported deaths per day from November 18 to 27. However, the DOH said out of the 2,096 fatalities tallied in that period, only 16% occurred in November while 80% occurred between August and October.

"The high reported deaths in this latter part of November 2021 was due to delayed encoding, validation, and reporting of death information to COVIDKaya," the department said.