Wednesday, 15 September 2021

COVID data transparency needed


“The Government needs to seriously upgrade its COVID data transparency, so we can all understand the situation and the response” says Act Leader David Seymour.

“Throughout the COVID epidemic, the Government has selectively released data that the taxpayer owns to suit its political agenda. Citizens have been forced to sit through lengthy podium pronouncements before important data such as case numbers are revealed.

“For example, at the beginning of this outbreak, unlinked cases were not published. Then they were, now they are not again.

“ACT is calling on the Government to start releasing data openly, transparently, and apolitically. Data should be released, systematically, daily, in tables, so that data is comparable day to day and week to week.

“Here are some examples of data that taxpayers own, that should be freely available instead of selectively released data.

“How many people are booked for vaccination in days to come? The Government has made much of vaccine bookings when it suited them. It should publish a table of how many bookings have been made for each day in the future. It would be helpful to know this because the numbers seem to have fallen even as the Prime Minister says there’s no limits

“What are the wastewater test results for each site, each day? We are told there are no ‘unexpected’ results

“What is the case data, including how many cases have been hospitalised, how many of them were vaccinated, what is the estimated date of infection. A good example of how this kind of data could be shared is Singapore. A country that won’t let you chew gum at least tells you what’s going on, with daily case details here.

“What is the performance of contact tracing, day by day? How many contacts, how many contacted, how many awaiting a day five and day 12 test? We need to know if contact tracing is containing outbreaks, or superfluous and we’re just using lockdowns to kill off viruses anyway.

“The Government has all of this data, or they should do. If it is making decisions without it that’s a problem. If it’s withholding data the taxpayer has paid for just to give itself a political advantage, that’s arguably worse.”