PETALING JAYA, Jan 29 — A Malaysian data scientist has launched a web portal for the global community to obtain the latest updates on the coronavirus (2019-nCov) outbreak.

The news aggregator website is the brainchild of project lead Lau Cher Han, a data scientist and full-stack developer with 15 years of experience in software development, analytics, database technologies and data mining.

Lau’s team consists of lead data scientist Hafeez Nazri who is based in Cyberjaya and Singapore-based lead frontend engineer Tan Wei Seng.

The trio along with hundreds of volunteers put the website together in two days beginning from January 25 and went live on Monday.

The community-based portal which gathers information from various sources also collects data for analysis where all content is selected and sifted by a team of over 460 global volunteers to eliminate hoaxes and fake news.

The volunteers are made up of medical professionals, data scientists, UI/UX designers, full-stack developers and the general public.

“The 2019-nCov situation is alarming.

“As a data scientist, I was interested in using my skills and knowledge to marry technology and data science and set up a platform where people could use it to track and gain an overview of the spread of the virus worldwide,” said Lau during a Facebook Live launch session on Monday.

The Analytics Dashboard on CoronaTracker displays useful data for the public to access. — Screengrab from CoronaTracker
The Analytics Dashboard on CoronaTracker displays useful data for the public to access. — Screengrab from CoronaTracker

The Queensland University of Technology PhD graduate added that within 36 hours, the team managed to gather volunteers from Malaysia, Australia, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, the US and many other countries.

The Analytics Dashboard on CoronaTracker displays data such as total confirmed cases, deaths, total suspected cases, cases recovered and the outbreak trend over time as well as provinces, regions and countries that are currently affected based on sources such as the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and Johns Hopkins University.

“The platform is vital for information consolidation and all gathered information is open to use for the public.

“This is a 100 per cent open source project, all information and publishable data are available on Github as well.

“Everyone is welcomed to contribute through our telegram channel,” the official website announced.

Three more 2019 novel coronavirus positive cases have been reported in Malaysia earlier this morning, bringing the total of positive cases to seven.

All seven positive 2019-nCoV cases are Chinese nationals, according to the Health Ministry.

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