Promoting behavioural change

PUTRAJAYA: The public now has access to more granular data on Covid-19 thanks to the launch of the Health Ministry’s CovidNow website.

Easy on the eye, the website has extra Covid-19-related statistics in the form of graphs and visuals.

They will gradually replace the ministry’s infographics throughout the pandemic which were one of the main sources of Covid-19 information for the public.

One of the more distinct data presented in the website is the division of active cases based on patient location, such as home quarantine, quarantine centre (PKRC), hospital or intensive care unit (ICU).

For example, as at Sept 9, 83.5% of the 242,805 active cases were home quarantining, 10.5% were at PKRCs, 5.5% were in hospital, while 0.5% were in ICU and 0.3% on ventilator support.

The focus on active Covid-19 cases moves away from new case numbers and state figures.

Complementing CovidNow is the GitHub repository that contains even more raw and granular data.

During the launch of the CovidNow site on Thursday, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said providing more detailed data to the public is part of the ministry’s aim to be more transparent.

“The ministry will continue to analyse the data and also welcomes opinions and analyses from relevant experts.

“I hope that with the data and information shared at GitHub, and now on CovidNow, the public will have a better understanding of the Covid-19 situation in the country.

“This is also in line with our aim to shape behavioural change,” he added.

The CovidNow website was designed by several web developers who were also behind the @MYVaccineCount Twitter account.

On Twitter, the team said the website was built pro bono.

“We did #CovidNow voluntarily. We didn’t want to be paid for this and we’re delighted that MOH (the Health Ministry) recognised us on their official site.

“We hope people will focus on an amazing development with tons of data made open by MOH. That’s the win,” Henry Lim, one of the developers, said on his Twitter account @henrylim96.

However, many on social media said that the team should be rewarded, even though they insisted it was voluntary.

“This should be paid work. They’re doing such a great service to the nation – data transparency is so long overdue,” wrote Tan Sri Dr Jemilah Mahmood, who was special adviser to former prime minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

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CovidNow , website , data , Covid-19


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