I’ve been keeping an eye on the daily media releases published by the Queensland Department of Health at the end of each day to keep abreast of the data on the novel coronavirus within Queensland (SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19). I’m collating the data in a google sheet so I can graph a time-series illustrating what’s happening each day with both new cases and cases across the various Queensland Hospital and Health Services.

There are some issues with the data, however it’s all that’s available at the moment. The biggest issue is that the published number for new coronavirus cases is often not equalling the difference between the daily totals between two consecutive days. For example, the difference between the total cases on 1 April 2020 and 2 April 2020 is 54, whilst the DoH Media Release dated 2 April 2020 says that there were 57 new cases. Also, 14 March 2020 was the first date that the DoH started publishing data that could be collated in this manner.

Whilst I’m sure that the QLD DoH have their own internal data sets that are much more robust, this is the best time-series that’s publicly available at present.

Example of a graph in my data set:

Cumulative SARS-CoV-2 Cases in Queensland

EDIT – 6 April 2020: The DoH have included a statement in their media release dated 5 April 2020 that somewhat clarifies the data integrity issue. They have said:

Changes may occur in the number of notifications reported from day to day. This is due to ongoing maintenance and update of notification details as new information becomes available, or where discrepancies are detected through data quality assurance activities.

It’s pertinent that they’ve made this statement as the New Cases data is on a very downward trend over the past couple of days (image below of the downward trend). On ABC Radio National this morning it was speculated that the New Cases numbers were low given that less testing occurs on weekends (why is this?). Anyhow, Monday’s data will be interesting to see.

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