"The two million unreported (COVID-19) cases were not positive cases. But there are many negative results of the tests which are not yet reported by the laboratories," he said in a statement here on Saturday.
With a limited number of data entry officials, laboratories are overwhelmed by the high number of COVID-19 testing and tend to focus on positive cases for immediate treatment.
Previously in a virtual meeting with Vice Minister of Health Dante Saksono Harbuwono, epidemiologists and health experts on Thursday (Feb 4), Deputy Chief of the COVID-19 Handling and National Economic Recovery Committee (KPC-PEN) Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said there were some two million data or more that have yet to be reported.
Pandjaitan, concurrently the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment said, the government has a task to tackle issues on unintegrated data of COVID-19 cases in central and local governments.
Mahardi said, the public should have misinterpretated the minister's statement.
"When we include the (negative case) data,, then the positivity rate will decline accordingly. Fears of an upsurge (in COVID-19) cases won't be happened," he added.
He admitted that data integration has been a serious problem for the COVID-19 handling.
Minister Pandjaitan has focused on the improvement of integrated management system hence data on COVID-19 cases disseminated to the public is factual and real.
The minister has also encouraged establishment of big data on health that would integrate all sources of health data such as electronic medical record, health insurance, vaccine and others, especially in the time of the pandemic.
"This is our homework. But the minister saw the pandemic as a momentum for the government to improve our database, not only in health sector, but also other sectors. Hence in the future we can have a better management system," Mahardi said.
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