Local online virus tracker a big hit

Local online virus tracker a big hit

Interactive map shows locations of cases and also exposes false reports

A screen shot of an online map developed by 5Lab, a Bangkok-based IT company, to provide news and information about Covid-19 in Thailand and help stem fake news.
A screen shot of an online map developed by 5Lab, a Bangkok-based IT company, to provide news and information about Covid-19 in Thailand and help stem fake news.

Local technological innovations are helping with the fight against Covid-19 and also fake news surrounding the coronavirus outbreak.

One of the most popular is covidtracker.5lab.co, an online map that provides information on the spread of Covid-19 in Thailand. The website features an interactive map with updates on the number and location of cases, as well as false reports about the contagion.

The website is the fruit of unpaid efforts by a team at 5Lab, a Bangkok-based IT company. It launched last Friday morning and quickly became a phenomenal hit, attracting as many as 30,000 visitors per minute, according to Nithi Prasanpanich, chief design officer at 5Lab.

"The project was born from the passion of junior staff in our company. After noticing there was lots of fake reports about the outbreak, they came up with the idea for an online platform where people can verify Covid-19 news. So we created it right away," Mr Nithi told the Bangkok Post.

The team updates the digital map with officially verified news on Covid-19 and links to information such case numbers and infection status. A Covidtracker mobile app is in the pipeline.

OpenDream and ChangeFusion have launched a crowdsourcing chatbot that encourages users to report infections and their whereabouts. Dubbed @Sabaideebot, the chatbot allows Line subscribers to view data from fellow users, while also providing Public Health Ministry updates on the outbreak and links to hospitals. The chatbot is in Thai.

The Thailand Tech Startup Association also uses @Pedthaisupai to spread useful information on Facebook.


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