OVP launches simplified COVID data tracker today

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    THE Office of the Vice President will roll out today the COVID-19 Data Tracker on its official website to help policymakers, entrepreneurs, businesses, local government units, and ordinary people understand better data on the number of infections, deaths, and recoveries being released by the Department of Health.

    Vice President Leni Robredo said the data tracker is a product of a month-long effort to digest DOH figures, and presenting it in a manner that will help the public keep abreast with the data at the community level.

    “Tinitingnan namin iyong mga numero… kapag tiningnan mo iyong data drop ng DOH, kung wala kang tiyaga o hindi mo naiiintindihan, parang numero lang nakikita mo pero hindi mo alam kung ano iyong gustong sabihin (We have been crunching the numbers from the DOH and we realized, for those who have no patience or familiarity, they are just figures that one cannot easily absorb),” she said.

    The Vice President clarified that all the figures will come from the DOH and her office will not generate any of the data that will be uploaded.

    Using international standards, the OVP will present the figures at the regional, provincial, city and municipal levels.

    She said the data should not be seen only in “absolute numbers.” She noted the case of Quezon City which has a big population and has the biggest number of cases.

    With this system aided by a colorful interface, the user can easily check which regions still have a high incidence of infection and those where cases are going down or have remained low.

    Citing as example the October 9 figures, Robredo noted that only the National Capital Region and Region 3 (Central Luzon) still have high incidence or those that have 100 or more cases reported. But going into the city and municipal level showed there were still 71 LGUs that fall under the same category.

    “For the past month, ito na iyong nagiging basehan namin (kung) ilang PPE (personal protective equipment) ang ipapadala. Kapag medyo kaya na nung lugar …mas kaunti na o hindi na muna tutulungan. Mas uunahin iyong mga lugar na talagang kailangan ng tulong (For the past month, this system has worked for us when we distribute PPE. Where the incidents are down to manageable levels, we reduce the volume so we could given more in areas where help is still badly needed),” she said.

    Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, co-chairman of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases co-chairman, on Saturday said the COVID-19 procurement program might suffer unless the proposed budget for 2021 is passed.

    Nograles, in his KNL program over Facebook, said the country has secured access to some of vaccines being developed by some private companies, but the problem is if there would be money for the purchase.

    President Duterte has said the country would borrow funds if needed to purchase 40 million vaccines for 20 million poor people. at two dosages each. He said those who can afford the vaccine could buy on their own.

    Nograles said apart from some budget for vaccines, funding for other COVID-response efforts as well as other programs of the administration like infrastructure scheduled for next year would also be affected.

    Passage of the budget is being delayed by a a fight overt the top post at the House of Representatives.

    The Department of Health also on Saturday said the country is preparing for clinical trials for candidate vaccines which may start next month. – With Jocelyn Montemayor and Gerard Naval