Khairy announces Covidnow, a detailed one-stop website for all Covid-19 information

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin speaks at a press conference at the ministry in Putrajaya, September 9, 2021. — Bernama pic
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin speaks at a press conference at the ministry in Putrajaya, September 9, 2021. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 9 — The Ministry of Health today 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, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said today.

The website — covidnow.moh.gov.my — still employs mostly the same indicators used from the previous reporting practice, but with the addition of new and detailed information like the number of daily tests and patients treated at low-risk treatment and quarantine centres (PKRC).

The ministry had 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.

“The MOH realised that to ensure a holistic public involvement...in our efforts to protect families and our community from the Covid-19 disease is by providing detailed data and complete information about the outbreak,” Khairy said at a press conference in Putrajaya.

“A holistic involvement of society and a better understanding about the situation...is extremely important to allow us to move into the endemic phase safely and smoothly,” he added.

Khairy had repeatedly stated that the country must move away from the mindset that aims to quash the coronavirus, and is pushing for strategies to co-exist with the contagious pathogen.

He said data transparency will be the first crucial step.

MOH will also make more granular data available on the open sharing platform Github, a continuation of past practice.

Malaysia was among the first few countries to share its data on the website, now considered a go-to open-source platform that gives scientists, epidemiologists and public health experts crucial information to understand the virus and how to respond to it.

Khairy said 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.

“We are going to add a full lot of granular data starting today, beginning with the case linelist,” the minister said.

The case linelist will include breakdowns of cases like age, locations, date of cases, comorbidities, and nationality. Details about deaths and the vaccination status of those who died will also be made public.

Covidnow will phase out the previous reporting model, Khairy said.

“With this data sharing it can help not only MOH but also the public to analyse,” he said.

Covidnow is developed together with the open data community, with the developers taking the job pro bono.

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