Home Fact Check The Curious Case Of AP’s Floating COVID-19 Numbers

The Curious Case Of AP’s Floating COVID-19 Numbers

by Sai Prasad
599 views Hyderabad

There’s an apparent discrepancy between the numbers on the website of the Ministry of Family Health & Welfare, and those shared by AP government’s official COVID response handle. The discrepancy in State’s COVID-19 numbers has caught the public eye more than once.

According to the MoFHW website, as of 8:00 AM on June 6, there were 1654 active cases of COVID-19 in Andhra Pradesh while at least 2,576 people recovered from the infection. As many as 73 people had succumbed to the virus. Here’s a screenshot of the numbers on the website as at 06/06/2020, 16:56PM, until when, the numbers had remained unchanged.

On the same day, at 12:46PM, the official handle of AP’s COVID-19 response, Arogya Andhra, posted an infographic about the State’s COVID-19 numbers “As on 6th June, 2020, 10:00am.”

According to Arogya Andhra, the numbers as of 10:00 AM on June 6, there were 1192 active cases of COVID-19 in Andhra Pradesh while 2323 people recovered from the infection. The number of deaths remained 73.

Between 8:00AM and 10AM, the number of active cases in Andhra Pradesh reduced by 462. Conventional logic should drive citizens to assume that this reduction was either on account of recoveries or deaths equalling 462. However, while the number of deaths have remained unchanged, the number of recoveries over the corresponding period have also reduced by 253, thus creating a hotchpotch of uncoordinated numbers that don’t add up.

This wasn’t the first time that AP government’s COVID-19 numbers were questioned.

On 16th of April, 2020, S. Rajeev Krishna, Advisor to the government of AP, tweeted that AP was averaging 2000 tests/day and the state had until that day performed ~16,500 tests. However,  the COVID-19 dashboard of the State’s Department of Health, Medical, and Family welfare, reflected a different set of numbers. According to the dashboard, by 16th of April, 2020, the State had performed 20235 tests. Responding to a user’s tweet, the Special Chief Secretary to the Chief Minister, PV Ramesh tweeted that the entry made on 16th of April, 2020 was erroneous and samples ‘collected’ were shown as ‘tested’. Later that day, S. Rajeev Krishna, while responding to another user, also accepted that an erroneous entry was made. On 17th of April, 2020, the dashboard reflected a different set of numbers- the number of tests performed until that day was 17559 while the number of negative cases was 16987 thus implying that the number of negative cases reported earlier was also erroneous.

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