Goa’s engg students develop real-time Coronavirus tracker

Gomantak times
Saturday, 7 March 2020

In this backdrop, a group of five engineering students from Goa has come together to develop a web-based tracker to give real-time updates on the cases with help of authentic data sourced from John Hopkins University, USA to create awareness and prevent the virus from spreading.

Panaji: With new cases of the deadly Coronavirus-2019 (COVID-19) getting reported every day from across the world, a lot of fake information floating on social media causes panic.

This web-based tracker application has been developed by Hrishikesh Bhandari (doing remote learning in product design in Paris), Shrey Keny (Padre Conceição College of Engineering), Sanket Marathe (Agnel Institute of Technology and Design), Salil Naik (Goa College of Engineering) and Niket Kamat Satoskar (Padre Conceição College of Engineering alumnus, working in Bengaluru).

“This is a web-based application that can be accessed by going to www.virus-corona.ml. It is called ‘COVID-19 Tracker’. It informs the spread of coronavirus through a heat map and gives updated figures of confirmed positive cases, recovered and deaths. The main objective behind this app is to give authentic information sourced from one of the most reputed names in medical research - John Hopkins University,” Hrishikesh says.

This app will help spread awareness about the virus. Anybody who wants to keep track on the cases can do so by using this web-app.

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“It’s a one-stop-shop. Moreover, the data will help reduce the panic situation that is prevailing right now. Our app also shows cases recovered. If we see carefully, one would know that half of the confirmed COVID-19 cases have recovered. This means it is not that deadly as we are imagining it to be. This can help people to calm down,” Keny says.

The idea to develop this app came to them during a competition held at BITS Pilani, Goa campus last month.

“That was the time when the virus was spreading like a wildfire. Then we decided to come up with a tracker to give people real-time and authentic data. There were websites giving too much information about the virus, which was looking complicated. We wanted to develop something simpler. That’s how this app was born,” Marathe says.

The team is now trying to localize the app by sourcing India specific data, for which it is trying to reach out to government authorities.

“We are adding a new feature into this app where any traveler planning to visit any affected country, will flag the areas worst hit. This will help him or her to avoid that location and perhaps not get infected,” Naik informs.

The group also wants to target specific groups like the senior citizens, as they are a vulnerable population due to their weak immune system.

“Weak immunity makes them prone to the virus, which is the trend right now. We want to help them and their caregivers to avoid getting infected by providing related information,” Satoskar adds.

1. The key aspects of the app:

* Mobile-first approach because 90% of our traffic is mobile based

* Minimalist design so that relevant information reaches masses

* Reliable dataset, we currently use John Hopkins processed data

2. Key information displayed by Corona Tracker:

* Simple User Interface with an interactive heat map of confirmed cases worldwide

* Tap on the dots on this map to reveal more data about the location

* Data about confirmed, dead and recovered cases worldwide in numbers and graphs.

* Light mode feature for users who prefer a lighter theme while using


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