Khairy Launches Covid-19 Dashboard To ‘Lift Veil Of Secrecy’

The COVIDNOW site has new details on home quarantine/ hospitalised proportions of active Covid-19 cases, but no data on Covid-19 clusters or vaccine breakthroughs.

PUTRAJAYA, Sept 9 — Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin today launched a new website containing granular data not previously announced, such as the proportions of active cases in self-isolation, quarantine centres, and hospitals.

The new COVIDNOW site displays data on population vaccinated, active Covid-19 cases, health care utilisation rates (ventilators, intensive care unit occupancies, hospital beds used, and utilisation of PKRCs) — indicators that better reflect the current epidemic situation, Khairy said.

He said the new display is easier to comprehend and more accessible to the general public and will act as the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) new reporting format, instead of the previous format which emphasised daily Covid-19 case numbers and clusters, among others.

“These are the key indicators. What is important now is we do not want our public health care capacity to be overwhelmed. For this, it is crucial that we give the actual data on active cases on a daily basis — where they are, what category they are, based on where they are located,” Khairy told a media briefing today. 

As of today, however, the COVIDNOW website does not have details on Covid-19 clusters or vaccine breakthroughs in Covid-19 infections or deaths.

Data on brought-in-dead (BID) cases by state or other factors like age, health conditions, and gender is also not available on COVIDNOW.

Khairy said MOH will also introduce new data sets on the GitHub repository, such as case and death line lists. This features details on anonymised new cases/ deaths, date of infection/ death, age, comorbidity, symptomatic/ asymptomatic, nationality, and location. The vaccination status and vaccine brand administered for each case/ death will also be included.

Hospital admissions, ventilator usage, as well as bed and ICU capacity according to hospitals (both public and private) will also be shared on GitHub, Khairy said. Details on adverse events following immunisation based on vaccine brand will also be made available.

“We believe the sharing of data will not only help MOH, but for people to do their own analysis. I would also like to say that when we release a lot of this data, there will be a lot of interpretation and analysis. 

“The MOH will continue to provide insights and try to interpret the data. But of course, we welcome, especially experts, universities, data scientists, to also try to interpret some of the trends and share with us so that the whole of society can have access to the data and have better insights on how to live with Covid-19,” Khairy said.

“I hope with this announcement, with the data shared that is more comprehensive and detailed, we can together carry out several behavioural changes, as well as get the real picture on the country’s Covid-19 situation.”

The health minister added that with the new website, MOH will discuss how to transition from Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah’s daily Covid-19 reports in a week.

According to the COVIDNOW website, of the 248,676 active Covid-19 cases, 83.7 per cent, or 208,242 people, are on home quarantine, 25,383 (10.2 per cent) in Covid-19 quarantine and treatment centres (PKRC), 13,769 (5.5 per cent) hospitalised, 1,282 (0.5 per cent) in intensive care, and 744 (0.3 per cent) on ventilator support.

Khairy said of the 2,417 BID cases reported as of August, only 217 or 14 per cent were under MOH case, monitoring by Covid-19 Assessment Centres (CAC), or private health care, while 86 per cent were not under any medical observation.

“That is why one of the strategies we will implement to bring down BIDs is to ensure that those who are not under medical observation, can receive care. We will be deep diving to find out why that was the case so that we can better advise the public to ensure that you get tested or once you have an onset of serious symptoms, you are sent to CAC or local GP.”

The COVIDNOW website was developed by the team behind the Twitter account @MYVaccineCount. 

“Note: I built this website for the people of Malaysia voluntary, I did not get paid from the government for doing this,” MYVaccineCount tweeted.

Frontend developer Henry Lim tweeted: “No one stole my work or forced me. I was happy to work with MOH’s doctors and KJ’s team to do something good for Malaysia. I would appreciate if you didn’t try to ruin a good initiative,” in response to a person who said that it wasn’t MOH that developed the site.

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