Last Sunday the government of the United Kingdom made official an abrupt and sudden increase in cases of infections by Covid-19 in the country, a situation that worried the residents because it was a huge wave of infections in a very short time, and the worst is that there was no apparent reason that could be the conclusion of this wave of infections.

However, hours later it was leaked that this steep rise in infections was not really real, at least not at that time, but that it was all the fault of Excel, or at least of the people in charge of using Microsoft’s program to count the data.

If these infections exist, but they did not occur in a matter of hours

After the government announcement leaked to the press that in reality everything had been an error when using Excel, and that the abrupt rise in cases was due to the fact that thousands of infections had not been counted at the time they occurred, so they were announced last Sunday as new, But in reality they were not new infections in the last hours, but they were infections recorded between September 25 and October 2.

After this leak, a spokesperson for Public Health England (PHE) pointed out that a “technical error” caused this problem, but that it had already been fixed.

That’s the reason why 15,841 cases of Covid-19 were not reported in time, a situation that generated a problem since those affected were not notified about their infection, so they could have infected more people, however, the PHE says that all users who tested positive have been notified about their case.

Credit: Faisal Khan / NurPhoto

What caused the problem in Excel?

Excel is a very popular tool used all over the world, and although it is perfect for data, it is not the ideal program for hospitals and companies that need to capture a huge amount of data, for that there are other specialized programs that are designed for that. And it is that Exel has a limitation that does not allow it to overcome the 16,384 columns and 1,048,576 rowsThis is obviously not a problem for most Excel users, but clearly it is for those who want to use a huge amount of data.

The problem with this situation is not the limit of Excel rows and columns, but rather that those responsible did not realize that the data was not being stored as it should, and although they have not lost the data of the almost 16 thousand affected (a situation that It would have been disastrous), they have probably generated more infections by not notifying the carriers of the virus in time, and they have also generated concern in the inhabitants.