Colombia Reports is suspending the publication of coronavirus statistics provided by the government because of indications they misrepresent the truth.
This website updated these statistics provided by the National Health Institute (INS) daily with the intent to inform you on the virus’s spread in the country or at least provide an indication.
Over the past few weeks, however, there have been serious irregularities that have made the statistics unreliable to the point reproducing them could be misinformation.
The biggest problem, and this is not unique to Colombia, is a shortage in reagents, the chemicals used to diagnose a test sample. This disallows the INS to test or timely test samples of people who are suspected of having been infected.
Additionally, there is evidence at least one lab is not using medical, but financial standards to decide which samples to test and in the Medellin area there are indications that reagents are used to test people who have already tested positive.
On top of that, there are serious doubts about notoriously corrupt private health intermediaries who allegedly have been holding back samples.
After consulting with the editorial board, which is made up of readers and includes an epidemiologist, I have decided to suspend the publication of the statistics to prevent misinforming you.
If the situation changes and the reliability of the government statistics improves, I will again talk to the editorial board about resuming publication.