Malaysia's Ministry of Health (MoH) has launched a simplified platform that will provide all daily information related to Covid-19 including more granular data that was previously unavailable in a bid to increase transparency. Available to the public and private players alike, the new CovidNow website will provide the latest Covid-19 information in the country, with the addition of new and detailed information to enable the full involvement of the community and an accurate understanding of the current Covid-19 situation.
"Starting today, in line with my desire to be more transparent in the sharing of information and for us lift the veil of secrecy around data and statistics, the MoH will launch the new CovidNow website," health minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced at a press conference. "The latest daily data will be available on CovidNow after 12 midnight every night." He adds that among the new dataset to be made available are the number of tests, active cases and death rates by state, and utilisation of breathing support equipment.
The MoH has also tweaked some of the denominators used previously, like reporting the number of coronavirus-related deaths based on the time of death instead of reporting only when deaths are confirmed, which had caused backlogs that drove the daily numbers up.
In the spirit of collaboration between MoH and the open data community, the ministry has engaged a group of innovative developers to build the CovidNow website–100 per cent pro bono. The four talented youths are website developers Henry Lim, Calum Lim, Sheng Han Lim, and Roshen Maghan, and they are gunning to help Malaysians understand the Covid-19 pandemic in the country better.
"We got together and worked with MoH over almost a month on building a transparent, easy to understand dashboard to better inform the public, organisations, and policymakers on the state of the pandemic. The idea behind open data is simple: an all-of-society approach to work towards a similar goal. That for Malaysia, is to win the battle against Covid-19. I'm thankful to the MoH, Khairy Jamaluddin, and his team for the opportunity and openness in collaborating with the open data community," backend developer and data scientist Sheng Han tweeted. Sheng Han is also the creator of MY Vax Tacker, Malaysia's progress to 80 per cent vaccination target tracker.