After attending a press conference at the Ministry of Health in late March, 21-year-old Faissal Nemer Hajar, from Curitiba, had the idea of creating a website to map where cases of infections by the new coronavirus are located. That way, you can find out if you live in a risky area of Covid-19.
At the press conference in question, former Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta was talking about how technologies could identify Covid-19 infections. “I realized that I didn’t have any such platforms yet for Covid-19 and that I could make one,” says Faissal. After that, the young man learned to program and, in two months, the idea became the project ‘Together Against Covid’, which through a collaborative website, it is possible to map coronavirus cases in Brazil.
The website uses data provided by the users themselves
To date, the site has received more than 170,000 data collaborations. With so many hits, he needed to undergo a restructuring, but he’s back on the air. Therefore, to access the site, just click here .
On the website, it is possible to enter gender, age and address. In addition, if the user was vaccinated against flu and tested for Covid-19 . Or, if you have contracted the disease, if you had symptoms or not. In the questionnaire, you are also asked if you have any health problems, if you have contacted suspects or confirmed ones. Finally, the user can also answer whether he has traveled to a place where there is a so-called community transmission. That is, where the virus circulates freely.
This information sent by users will be available for consultation, but the identity and e-mail address are kept confidential. Then, the data is taken into account by the algorithm and divided into three categories. They are: low, medium and high risk, respectively identified by colored dots, blue, yellow and red.
More than 170 thousand people have already contributed information
As soon as a person enters the site, they can check their region on the map. In this way, how many blue, yellow and red dots are shown next to it are shown. Thus, it is possible to understand whether or not that point is considered a Covid-19 risk area .
However, even if the results are promising, the data does not represent a real and entirely certain number about the cases. “We want to make people aware of the presence of the coronavirus where they live. But we emphasize that, even where there are only blue dots, it does not mean that the virus is not present, because up to 30% of infections can be asymptomatic “, says Faissal.
In addition to being a resource for the population to seek information, the site will also serve as a database for future studies on the pandemic . “We want to help understand what has happened now and, if possible, in other pandemics in the future,” says Faissal.
However, the platform still faces a series of challenges, the main one of which is related to the population’s difficulty in accessing a smartphone or computer. As a result, a large percentage of the population ends up not being included in the database. In addition, data can be out of date in a short time. In any case, the doctor points out that the more people who contribute to the site, the more accurate the information displayed by the map will be.