NICD corrects Covid-19 test data

NICD clarifies an inconsistency in Covid-19 tests reported last week. File photo.
Image: 123RF/Jarun Ontakrai

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has clarified inconsistencies in recorded Covid-19 tests reported at the end of last week.

On November 27, 2020, the centre reported the total cumulative number of tests conducted as 5,350,076. This was 33,002 tests fewer than what was reported the previous day.

“From time to time, epidemiological centres undertake audits at various intervals to interrogate the efficiency of the data, clean up the data where necessary and implement improved systems for data collation. This vital process ensures that one maintains an accurate epidemiological picture, particularly when the situation is rapidly evolving as with Covid-19,” said the NICD.

This change is related to testing numbers and does not affect the daily positive case numbers reported by health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize.

The NICD said it had, after consultation with the incidence management team, submitted a report on Wednesday outlining the factors that had led to this reduction in cumulative tests.

The reasons for this change were to align the reporting of test data with the source of case data, for the improvement in the process for identifying and removing duplications of the same test from the same patient.

After the corrections, the NICD said that a total of 5,468,670 Covid-19 tests have now been completed, of which 32,846 were in the last 24-hour cycle.


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