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There was an unexpected jump in the number of positive COVID-19 tests over the weekend in England, when 16,000 positive cases were added, numbers which had been missed due to Excel bug.
The data has been stored in an Excel spreadsheet which reached its maximum size, and therefore failed to update any further.
This means around 15,841 cases between September 25 and October 2 were not uploaded to the government dashboard.
The data was not only used for simply stats, but details were not passed on to contract tracers, and of course the perception of the current status of the pandemic was inaccurate, information which was used to decide about lockdown areas.
Public Health England is being blamed, but an official responded by saying ‘We report the data when they send it. We didn’t get it.’
‘All outstanding cases were immediately transferred to the contact tracing system by 1am on 3 October and a thorough public health risk assessment was undertaken to ensure outstanding cases were prioritised for contact tracing effectively,’ said Test and Trace and Public Health England joint medical adviser Susan Hopkins.
The files have now been split into smaller multiple files to prevent the issue happening again.