Three government miscalculations that led to summer COVID-19 outbreak

Country/area: Kyrgyzstan

Organisation: 24.kg news agency

Organisation size: Small

Publication date: 29 Sep 2020

Credit: Tatiana Shvacheva, Maria Orlova, Nadejda Habichebskaya, Anastasia Valeeva< Kristina Shveda

Project description:

An investigation by the data department of 24.kg news agency showed that the summer outbreak of coronavirus could have been prevented — or at least mitigated — if authorities of Kyrgyzstan had followed the advice of scientists.  Negligence of the state led to the loss of at least 1,362 lives in June-July — at the peak of the epidemic. The authorities have an opportunity to influence the course of the epidemic, avoiding the mistakes of  summer. 

Impact reached:

Our project once again raised the problem of poor preparation of the authorities for the coronavirus epidemic. Later, the government created a special commission, which confirmed the conclusions that our publication made based on the data.

Techniques/technologies used:

Google Sheets, Adobe Illustrator, Flourish, resourses of ourworldindata.org, healthdata.org.Basically, we analyzed the data on the basis of Google tables and compared the results with data from ourworldindata.org, healthdata.org. For visualization, we used Flourish, then we exported the resulting graphics in a vector and finalized in Adobe Illustrator

What was the hardest part of this project?

We are faced with the problem of obtaining data on the number of coronavirus cases, the PCR tests performed, the real number of deaths. The Ministry of Health made only part of the data on the coronavirus epidemic in the country publicly available. But this information did not allow for analysis and conclusions. Therefore, the data had to be requested additionally, including addressing directly to the leadership of the ministry.

What can others learn from this project?

After the publication of our project, the journalists of our country drew attention to the importance of studying information on the number of PCR tests performed. Prior to this, they did not pay much attention to this fact, as well as to the fact that the absence of an information campaign on the need for social distancing and wearing masks is also important for controlling the coronavirus pandemic. If we talk about journalists from foreign publications, then on the basis of our project, similar investigations can be made in other countries. We believe that interesting data useful for society can also be obtained.

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