Issue with Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing service hits Covid-19 data

An issue with Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform has sparked system problems for organisations in the UK, including Public Health England’s (PHE) coronavirus case dashboard.

The platform is used to track the number of new positive coronavirus cases and reported deaths linked to the virus in England and is normally updated daily.

However, PHE tweeted on Monday afternoon that they had been unable to update the platform because of the problem, which Microsoft has confirmed and said it is investigating.

“Due to an issue with Microsoft Azure we are unable to update the dashboard currently,” the PHE tweet said, before confirming the day’s coronavirus figures through Twitter instead.

Microsoft said its engineers were investigating an issue “impacting Storage and Virtual Machines” at its UK South data centre.

In a further statement on the Azure service status website, the technology giant confirmed the issue had been first reported at around 2pm on Monday afternoon, adding that some customers may experience “connectivity issues” until the flaw was resolved.

The cause of the fault has not been disclosed.