‘Staggering data cock-up’ say Conservatives as 11,000 positive tests missing from Welsh figures

Photo by HM Treasury and licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Welsh Conservatives have branded the news that 11,000 positive Covid tests are missing from official figures in Wales a “staggering data cock-up”.

It was revealed yesterday by Public Health Wales that planned IT maintenance meant there was a “significant under-reporting” in the current figures between 9 and 15 December.

It would mean that the recorded figures for the last week – already some of the highest in the UK – are twice as high as previously thought.

Shadow Health Minister Andrew RT Davies said it was “another staggering data cock-up during the Health Minister’s management of the Covid crisis, to add to the 13,000 shielding letters sent in error and the data breach in September that saw 18,000-odd positive test results put on a public PHW server”.

“Public Health Wales calls this latest mess ‘significant under-reporting’; I call that a significant under-statement that belies the true scale of the problem,” he said.

First Minister Mark Drakeford, however, said that the issue was known about in advance and people had been warned about it.

“The story is not about missing data or computer problems, it’s about the seriousness of the situation,” he told BBC Radio Wales.

“You were told in advance that this was going to happen. The data was never missing it was always there, waiting to be uploaded into the system.”

 

‘Fiasco’

Plaid Cymru health spokesman Rhun ap Iorwerth said: “With positive cases in Wales rising to record levels it is crucial that the reporting of data is both timely and robust.

“The public need a complete and current picture of the situation to realise the gravity of what we are facing.

“We need urgent reassurance that the failings have been addressed.”

Andrew RT Davies said that medical professionals had contacted him to voice their concerns as to whether the planned maintenance should have been conducted when it was.

“Welsh Labour and their failing health minister have clearly lost control of the virus in Wales,” he said.

“This loss of control can only be compounded by today’s news of yet another data mix up.

“And, bearing in mind the concerns highlighted by health professionals, an investigation into this fiasco should be launched.”

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