Coronavirus: real-time tracking platform launched in Belgium
Monday, 30 March 2020
A collective of medical experts, scientists and big data specialists is launching “covid19stop,” an online platform that charts the evolution of the new coronavirus (Covid-19) in Belgium in real time.
The website asks you a few basic questions, such as your general location, how many people live in your household and whether anyone in your household is experiencing any flu-like symptoms.
“Even people without symptoms are invited to communicate this on the platform,” the collective said on the website. Indeed, answering ‘No’ to the question about flu symptoms ends the questionnaire. Users are encouraged to report once per day per household, always using the same device.
The data is collected entirely anonymously and will be accessible to the general public, according to the website, but the collective’s primary purpose lies elsewhere. “They will mainly be intended for stakeholders and decision-makers at local, regional and national levels in order for them to rapidly assess the impact of the measures taken and possibly adapt them, as well as anticipate the impact of these developments on the means implemented, detect new epicentres of contamination, etc.”
“We want to complete the existing data, which are precise and clear and relate to tested cases – which is also their limit,” said Geoffroy Bauer, one of the people behind the project. “Our approach is based on declarative data, which is less accurate, but it will allow us to see the evolution of the large number of cases of mild symptoms that are not tested, and to detect trends earlier in time, at national and local levels”.