By Athula Ranasinghe –
The startling revelation by the President at the Presidential Task Force (PTF) meeting held at the Presidential Secretariat on Friday (18) exposed that only 15 Covid deaths had occurred on 11th June as against 101 previously reported by the Epidemiology Unit of the Health Department.
The cockeyed statistical information released by the Health Department daily received wide publicity both in the print and the electronic media and not only the PTF but also the general public honestly believed such statistical information released by the Epidemiology Unit is the truth, the absolute truth and nothing but the truth.
The analysis of the statistical data on a scientific basis is one of the most cardinal criteria in the identification of alternative solutions to a problem. Without accurate data and statistics, you are just another person with an opinion which has no relevance to the issue in question. It is now revealed that the government has taken key decisions on Covid-19 related issues based on the inaccurate information provided by the Epidemiology Unit. It could be now argued that the government failed to take iron-clad measures to arrest the rapid transmission of the epidemic is partly it relied heavily on the inaccurate data and statistics
The government now concedes that the inaccurate, artfully magnified and manipulated statistical data and information led the authorities to arrive at important decisions including the extension of travel restrictions, relaxation of lockdowns, opening of the economy and other important decisions etc. The enormous losses the country had to undergo as a result of the statistical manipulations would have run into couple of billions.
It has been originally decided to lift the travel restrictions on 14th June but subsequently it was extended until 21st June on the basis that the death toll reached 101 mark on 11th June. The President conveyed his dismay and dissatisfaction how the health authorities had taken the President, Presidential Task Force and the country for an extensive ride by a bunch of irresponsible officials without knowing the gravity of the false information it exposed to the country.
It has now been revealed that some of the deaths occurred during the four-month period from 06 February to 11 June was found to have been repeated twice making the mockery of the statistical lies released by the Epidemiology unit. The funniest episode is in certain instances that cumulative figures have also been added to show the country that the epidemic level of corona-19 had reached exponential increase.
Relying on the gobbledygook figures released by the health ministry, the Government Information Department too has published misleading information to the public in turn. Initially, the press release of the Information Department said that there were two deaths on June 9 but on a subsequent release on June 9 said that the death toll was 14.
What prompted the health authorities to disclose distorted information is the question that begs answers. According to Dr.Anuruddha Padeniya, President of the GMOA the whole process calculating statistical information is riddled with ulterior motives and there could even be a well-orchestrated coup behind this whole episode to cause embarrassment to the government and the President.
Following the statistical blunders reported, the Director General of Health Services has taken a decision to declare the number of deaths on the basis of 24 to 48 hours duration and with the change of this pattern of reporting the age group of the covid victims and their male and female category is now given.
The hard fact to be mentioned here is that the three ministers in charge of the covid related activities are completely ignorant of the manipulation of the figures. The so-called experts who compiled cockeyed data must be expelled after a proper investigation by the CID.
A weekly English paper in its editorial published on 11 June said that every statistical lie has a short shelf-life, and it has been proved within one week.