Thousands Of Coronavirus Cases Went Unreported In The UK Due To An Excel Stuff Up
More than 15,000 coronavirus cases went unreported in the UK because of an Excel glitch.
The problem was related to Public Health England using an old file format for their spreadsheets that could only hold a certain amount of data, according to the BBC.
The old format — known as XLS — could only handle 65,000 rows of data, meaning that each template could only hold about 1400 cases.
When the limit was reached, any further cases just weren’t recorded.
Excel’s XLS file format dates back to the creation of the software in 1987 and was superseded by XLSX in 2007.
"Excel was always meant for people mucking around with a bunch of data for their small company to see what it looked like," commented Professor Jon Crowcroft from the University of Cambridge told the BBC.
"And then when you need to do something more serious, you build something bespoke that works - there's dozens of other things you could do.
"But you wouldn't use XLS. Nobody would start with that."