Using open-source intelligence to identify early signals of COVID-19 in Indonesia
Objective: Open-source data from online news reports and informal sources may provide information about outbreaks before official notification. This study aims to evaluate the use of open-source data from the epidemic observatory, EpiWATCH, to identify the early signals of pneumonia of unknown cause as a proxy for COVID-19 in Indonesia.
Methods: Using open-source data on pneumonia of unknown cause in Indonesia between 1 November 2019 and 31 March 2020 (extracted from EpiWATCH, an open-source epidemic observatory), a descriptive analysis was performed to identify the trend of pneumonia of unknown cause in Indonesia before official notification of COVID-19 cases.
Results: A rise in reports of pneumonia of unknown cause was identified in Indonesia, starting from late January 2020. There were 304 reported cases of pneumonia of unknown cause, 30 of which occurred before the identification of the first COVID-19 cases on 2 March 2020. The early signals of pneumonia of unknown cause in Indonesia may indicate possible unrecognized circulation of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) before official detection.
Discussion: Open-source data may provide rapid, unvalidated information for early detection of outbreaks. Although unvalidated, such information may be used to supplement or trigger investigation and testing. As EpiWATCH sources global information, this methodology can be repeated for other countries within the Western Pacific Region, and for other diseases.
WHO. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak [Internet]. 2020 [cited 2020 Apr 1]. Available from: https://www.who.int/westernpacific/emergencies/covid-19
Ministry of Health Singapore. Confirmed imported case of novel coronavirus infection in Singapore; multi-ministry taskforce ramps up precautionary measures. [Internet]. 2020 [cited 2020 Apr 1]. Available from: https://www.moh.gov.sg/news-highlights/details/confirmed-imported-case-of-novel-coronavirus-infection-in-singapore-multi-ministry-taskforce-ramps-up-precautionary-measures
Director-General of Health Malaysia. Kenyataan Akhbar KPK 26 Januari 2020 – Situasi Terkini Jangkitan Novel Coronavirus di Malaysia – (Press statement 26 January 2020- Current update on Novel Coronavirus Situation in Malaysia) [Internet]. 2020 [cited 2020 Apr 1]. Available from: https://kpkesihatan.com/2020/01/26/kenyataan-akhbar-kpk-26-januari-2020-situasi-terkini-jangkitan-novel-coronavirus-di-malaysia/
WHO. WHO Director-General’s opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 - 11 March 2020 [Internet]. 2020 [cited 2020 Apr 1]. Available from: https://www.who.int/dg/speeches/detail/who-director-general-s-opening-remarks-at-the-media-briefing-on-covid-19---11-march-2020
Gorbiano MI. BREAKING: Jokowi announces Indonesia’s first two confirmed COVID-19 cases - National - The Jakarta Post. Jakarta Post [Internet]. Jakarta; 2020 Mar 2 [cited 2020 Apr 1]; Available from: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/03/02/breaking-jokowi-announces-indonesias-first-two-confirmed-covid-19-cases.html
Salazar PM De, Niehus R, Taylor A, Buckee CO, Lipsitch M. Identifying Locations with Possible Undetected Imported Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Cases by Using Importation Predictions. Emerg Infect Dis J [Internet]. 2020;26(7). Available from: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/7/20-0250_article
Collier N. Uncovering text mining: a survey of current work on web-based epidemic intelligence. Glob Public Health [Internet]. 2012/07/11. Taylor & Francis; 2012;7(7):731–749. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22783909
WHO. Epidemic intelligence - systematic event detection [Internet]. 2016 [cited 2020 Apr 3]. Available from: https://www.who.int/csr/alertresponse/epidemicintelligence/en/
ISER. Epiwatch | NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence, Integrated Systems for Epidemic Response [Internet]. [cited 2020 Apr 3]. Available from: https://iser.med.unsw.edu.au/epiwatch
Ministry of Health. COVID-19 update until April 1st 2020, 09.00 GMT+7 [Internet]. 2020 [cited 2020 Apr 1]. Available from: https://infeksiemerging.kemkes.go.id/category/situasi-infeksi-emerging/#.XoQ3x4gzZyw
Ministry of Health Indonesia. Pemerintah Perluas Lokasi Pemeriksaan Covid-19, Berikut Daftarnya [Government decided to expand the location for COVID-19 testing, here is the list] [Internet]. 2020 [cited 2020 Apr 4]. Available from: http://sehatnegeriku.kemkes.go.id/baca/rilis-media/20200320/3333441/pemerintah-perluas-lokasi-pemeriksaan-covid-19-berikut-daftarnya/
Aiello AE, Renson A, Zivich PN. Social Media– and Internet-Based Disease Surveillance for Public Health. Annu Rev Public Health [Internet]. Annual Reviews; 2020 Apr 2;41(1):101–118. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-publhealth-040119-094402
WHO. Report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) [Internet]. Geneva; 2020 Feb. Available from: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/who-china-joint-mission-on-covid-19-final-report.pdf
© World Health Organization (WHO) 2018. Some rights reserved.
The articles in this publication are published by the World Health Organization and contain contributions by individual authors. The articles are available under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 IGO license (CC BY 3.0 IGO http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/igo/legalcode), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. In any use of these articles, there should be no suggestion that WHO endorses any specific organization, products or services. The use of the WHO logo is not permitted.
Please cite the articles as follows: [Author names]. [Article title]. Western Pac Surveill Response J. [Year]; [Volume] ([Issue]). [doi number] [pmid number]
For example, Hoy D, Saketa ST, Maraka RR, Sio A, Wanyeki I, Frison P, et al. Enhanced syndromic surveillance for mass gatherings in the Pacific: a case study of the 11th Festival of Pacific Arts in Solomon Islands, 2012. Western Pac Surveill Response J. 2016;7:3. doi:10.5365/wpsar.2016.7.1.004 pmid:27766181
License: Creative Commons BY 3.0 IGO
The World Health Organization does not necessarily own each component of the content contained within these articles and does not therefore warrant that the use of any third-party-owned individual component or part contained in the articles will not infringe on the rights of those third parties. The risk of claims resulting from such infringement rests solely with you. If you wish to re-use a component of the articles attributed to a third party, it is your responsibility to determine whether permission is needed for that re-use and to obtain permission from the copyright owner. Examples of components can include, but are not limited to, tables, figures or images.
Any mediation relating to disputes arising under this license shall be conducted in accordance with the WIPO Mediation Rules (www.wipo.int/amc/en/mediation/rules). Any inquiries should be addressed to email@example.com.
License to publish
Western Pacific Surveillance and Response is an open access journal and requires each author of a contribution to grant the World Health Organization (the Publisher) a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free license under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution IGO License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/igo/legalcode) for the term of copyright and any extensions thereof. This includes to publish, re-publish, transmit, sell, distribute and otherwise use the article in the Journal, in whole or as a part. This is done by signing the WPSAR License to publish form.
The designations employed and the presentation of the information on this website do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the World Health Organization concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.
The mention of specific companies or of certain manufacturers' products does not imply that they are endorsed or recommended by the World Health Organization in preference to others of a similar nature that are not mentioned. Errors and omissions excepted, the names of proprietary products are distinguished by initial capital letters.
Links to third-party websites
The World Health Organization does not warrant that the information contained on the website is complete and correct and shall not be liable whatsoever for any damages incurred as a result of its use.