Data input error probed

The Food & Health Bureau today said it detected some human errors committed by its testing service provider BGI when uploading negative COVID-19 test results, adding it has instructed the service provider to probe the incident seriously.   The bureau noted that it discovered the incident during a regular data checking of the COVID-19 testing system on March 18.   The incident involved about 2,800 deep throat saliva specimens submitted to the Hospital Authority or the Department of Health for testing between February 28 and March 2.   The bureau explained that the testing of the specimens concerned was completed in early March and all specimens tested negative. It added that the staff concerned made an error when inputting the dates and the system was thus unable to issue testing results via SMS messages to relevant people in a timely manner.   The bureau has requested BGI to review the test results and rectify the registration information. Affected people may receive SMS messages containing the results of earlier tests automatically sent out by the system.   The bureau apologised to those affected and stressed that the incident did not affect the accuracy or validity of the test, and it did not involve any loss of personal data.   Noting that the incident of data input error is the second similar one encountered by BGI recently, the bureau said it finds the situation extremely undesirable and has issued a warning letter to instruct BGI to investigate the incident seriously and expedite the implementation of relevant improvement measures.   If the situation does not improve within a short time, further follow-up actions will be taken in accordance with contract terms, the bureau added.   The bureau revealed that it is also reviewing the design of the computer system and discussing with various testing service providers on proposals to step up preventive measures to avoid any chance of incorrect data input.
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