covidsl – An unofficial Sri Lanka coronavirus tracker

We just came across this continuously updated tracker of Sri Lankan COVID cases developed by Isanka Wijerathne, a researcher at Kyoto University: http://covidsl.com. It reports current and changes in total cases, tests done and recovered patients.

I can’t warrant its accuracy, but it relies on official data as well as media reports. It appears to pull its data from an API provided by the Health Promotion Bureau – all credit to them for their efforts at transparency, and really the best effort at online communication by a Sri Lankan government agency I’ve seen so far. If they are reading this, one suggestion I have is to provide a time series of the numbers.

For those of you are wondering where IHP gets its data from for analysis, we download it from a repository maintained by Johns Hopkins University, which collates information from a variety of sources, including WHO, government authorities and media. They have a nice map that continuously updates with the latest data here: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html. I’ve noticed that a large number of media organisations use this JHU database, including the Financial Times. Check there for details on how to access their data.

What this demonstrates once again is the value that can be gained if government is confident enough to draw on outside resources, and if government is transparent and open in sharing data. This will be crucial to get us through this crisis.

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