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Mihaila: Differences in reporting COVID-19 deaths have existed since early COVID-19 pandemic

Inquam Photos / Octav Ganea
Ioana Mihăilă

Health Minister Ioana Mihaila told a news briefing on Thursday that there have been differences in the reporting COVID-19 deaths since the early stages of the pandemic, because of red tape and the use by hospitals of different types of reporting.

"At the moment, there are differences between data reports in various databases that have collected death tolls. Any attempt to politicise the developments of the pandemic, I think, will lower people's confidence in the way it has been managed. So I would rather we did not make political connection between the death tolls and the grief and misery of these people and any political context. Reporting differences have existed since the early part of the pandemic (...) As the board says in its report, such differences exist, and as the board concludes, these differences are rooted in red tape and different types of reporting used by hospitals," the minister said.

She added that she asked the public health directorates to send "clarifications" regarding the methods of reporting COVID-19 deaths.

"I would not necessarily look for mistakes and culprits for reporting differences, but I would focus on improving the reporting process, which I have already started to do and in that regard I have already sent a request to the public health directorates with a recommendation to send us clarifications regarding the reporting methods. I would not necessarily look for culprits for these differences in reporting. As it has happened in other countries, an update is recommended of the number of reported deaths, an update that needs to come from the medical certifications of death that have the most eloquent data, and such certifications are certifications ascertaining the cause of death," said Mihaila.

She said the "presumption" that there were counties that misused diagnostic codes is not proven at this time. "Your question starts from the presumption that there are counties that have misused the diagnostic codes. Such presumption is not proven at this time. At this time, we only have differences between the data that have been reported on different platforms. We have sent requests to the public health directorates, and by comparing these data that will be provided to us from the public health directorates, we will be able to see in which of the counties we can improve the process even more," said Mihaila.


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