England lost 16,000 new coronavirus cases, blames computer glitch

The glitch was no mere rounding error in the government’s accounting, but another serious stumble at a crucial moment, when the British government is daily trying to decide where to tighten regional lockdowns to slow a second wave of the virus.

After the error was spotted and the lost cases accounted for, the government’s report of new daily infections nearly doubled — from 12,872 on Saturday to 22,961 on Sunday — sparking renewed angst among officials in London and England’s north, where most of the new cases were centered.

Michael Brodie, the interim head of Public Health England, said the issue was identified late Friday in the computer process that communicates positive results from labs to the country’s reporting dashboards. Some data files containing positive results had exceeded the maximum file size, he said, according to the BBC.

“We fully understand the concern this may cause,” Brodie added, “and further

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Missing COVID-19 tests glitch ’caused by large Excel file’

Thousands of coronavirus cases were missed because of an IT glitch, it has emerged. (PA)
Thousands of coronavirus cases were missed because of an IT glitch, it has emerged. (PA)

Almost 16,000 cases of coronavirus in the UK went unreported because of a glitch caused by an Excel spreadsheet, it has been reported.

Public Health England (PHE) said 15,841 daily COVID-19 cases between 25 September and 2 October had been left out of UK totals.

The error has caused delays in tracking the contacts of people who tested positive.

On Monday, the Press Association (PA) news agency reported that the problem was caused by a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet reaching its maximum file size.

It has been reported that the IT glitch was caused by a Microsoft Excel file that was too large. (Getty Images)
It has been reported that the IT glitch was caused by a Microsoft Excel file that was too large. (Getty Images)

This prevented new names being added in an automated process, it said.

PA said files have now been split into smaller batches to prevent the error from happening again.

Previously, PHE

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