AfriForum suggests steps NICD should take following errors in republished epidemiology report

In a letter to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) today, AfriForum expressed its concern over the internal review processes and report writing methodology followed by the NICD. The AfriForum Research Institute noticed that the republished epidemiology  report for week 25 mistakenly indicated the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases as 9 794, whereas it was in fact 13 164.

This follows after the AfriForum Research Institute sent a letter to the NICD on 29 June 2020 to alert them to errors in the original report. In a written reply on 29 June, the NICD apologised for the errors and republished an amended report.

AfriForum has now requested the NICD to provide their internal report review process as well as the reporting methodology followed.

AfriForum also requested that the following steps be taken, which entails that:

  • A report be reviewed by direct comparison with a previous report;
  • A check list be compiled as a way to review and identify errors;
  • Data analysis software be set up to do accuracy check calculations;
  • Data analysis software be set up so that numbers can be copied to reports;
  • Persons compiling and designing the report be provided with the raw data to enable them to confirm the accuracy of the report.

“It is unacceptable that there is once again an error in the report after errors in a previous version of the same report were already identified and reported by a third party. It is very clear that community institutions such as AfriForum are indispensable in the fight to protect the interests of citizens,” says Barend Uys, Head of Research and Development at AfriForum.

Read the report here.

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