INTRODUCTION: : The coronavirus disease (COVD-19) outbreak has overburdened the surveillance of severe acute respiratory infections (SARIs), including the laboratory network . This study was aimed at correcting the absence of laboratory results of reported SARI deaths .
METHODS: : The imputation method was applied for SARI deaths without laboratory information using clinico-epidemiological characteristics .
RESULTS: : Of 84,449 SARI deaths , 51% were confirmed with COVID-19 while 3% with other viral respiratory diseases . After the imputation method , 95% of deaths were reclassified as COVID-19 while 5% as other viral respiratory diseases .
CONCLUSIONS: : The imputation method was a useful and robust solution (sensitivity and positive predictive value of 98 %) for missing values through clinical & epidemiological characteristics.