TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — After several days of zero or single-figure casualties from the COVID-19 pandemic being reported, Taiwan’s surprising death toll of 12 announced Saturday (Aug. 7) was the result of a computer error, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced.
Since the end of the COVID Level 3 alert on July 27, the daily number of new local infections has mostly remained below 20, with no deaths or single digit numbers reported for several days recently.
Therefore, it caught some observers by surprise when the CECC announced Saturday that 12 COVID deaths had been registered, taking the country’s total death toll to 806. At his daily news conference, CECC chief Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) explained that the spike was the result of a glitch in the computer system that manages the number of deaths, the Liberty Times reported.
The automatic program in charge of files failed to select all the relevant files, Chen said. When the death toll fell to zero for several days running, officials became suspicious and went through the files, finding 11 cases which had not been selected by the program.
The CECC decided to include the past deaths in the total for Saturday, according to the Liberty Times report. Most of the deaths had occurred in late July among people ranging from 60 years of age to over 100.