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DOH develops surveillance app for more accurate report on COVID-19 cases

COVID KAYA allows frontliners to immediately encode data without needing to fill out investigation forms.

In Southeast Asia, the Philippines is one of the countries with a high number of confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases. As of writing there are 11,618 cases in the country, making us the third highest in the region, next to Singapore and Indonesia which have 25,346 and 15,438 confirmed cases, respectively.

However, in the past few days, the University of the Philippines Resilience Institute pointed out that there are minor discrepancies in the data being presented by the Department of Health (DOH). They pointed out that in times like these, people need to be presented accurate information and that the government should be transparent in reporting the numbers.

Also Read: DOST-PCAARRD helps ease public anxiety with new ‘Kontra COVID-19’ program

To address the issue with accuracy, the DOH is now partnering with the World Health Organization (WHO) in efforts to digitize the surveillance of COVID-19 in the country. DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire says that the surveillance application called COVID KAYA will help ease the health workers’ need to manually encode patients’ data.

DOH has hired Thinking Machines Data Science to develop the application. Stephanie Sy, chief of Thinking Machines Data Science says that COVID KAYA will let frontliners encode data immediately without needing to fill out investigation forms.

Screenshot from DOH COVID-19 tracker (

“This means that the number of steps it takes to collect data… can all be centralized. I think that will really help everybody make better decisions,” Stephanie explains.

Stephanie also clarifies that the minor discrepancies that the UP Resilience Institute reported might have been due to encoding or process issues. It might have also been because of incorrect filling of forms or tagging wrong persons.

She says that any and all corrections made to fix the discrepancies will be made available to the public for transparency, as soon as they are done.

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