DOH expert criticizes OCTA Research group


A Department of Health (DOH) expert said on Monday that the modelling utilized by a research group monitoring the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic is “problematic,” even accusing them of sowing panic.


Dr. Edcel Salvaña, a member of the DOH Technical Advisory Group, said the OCTA Research group uses “incomplete” and “erroneous” data to calculate Covid-19 reproduction numbers, adding that using data two weeks previous cannot produce an accurate number as there are backlogs in the reporting of cases.


“There are backlogs, so if you are making projections based on data that is incomplete or erroneous, you are going to come out with erroneous projections,” Salvaña said in a television interview.


“I am not saying that they don’t know what they are doing. There are mathematicians, political scientists, and doctors there, but their model is problematic because they are using data that is incomplete and inconsistent. There are other things that you have to look at,” he added.


He even accused OCTA Research of sowing panic on the country’s Covid-19 situation.


“So that’s really my only point, that it’s okay guys, please do help, go ahead and do your analysis. But please make sure that you are doing the correct analysis because if you don’t, then it just confuses people and the government may make the wrong decision because nagpanic na ‘yung ibang tao (some people have already panicked),” he added.


However, he said OCTA Research continue doing its job and be “more circumspect” when making projections.


“I have no personal quarrel with them. In fact some of the OCTA people are my good friends,” Salvaña said.


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