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Statistics Institute launches COVID-19 data dashboard; Researchers design contagion tracker

The Puerto Rico Institute of Statistics unveiled a new dashboard on its website called COVID-19, through which citizens will have access to official data on the local impact of the virus, based on data provided by the Health Department, agency Executive Director, Orville Disdier said.

Among the data that users will be able to access in the dashboard are: the total number of people evaluated or under evaluation; their average age; number of positive, negative and pending cases; as well as the distribution by sex and region.

In addition, raw data is available through this section, so researchers can perform their own statistical analyzes, he said. As the Health Department provides more information, it is expected that the tool will continue to be updated and improved.

“Having a detailed statistical tool, updated and accessible to all citizens is crucial at this time. We urge the Health Department to continue to provide us with updated data continuously and expeditiously, in turn, making it accessible to the entire population,” he said.

Meanwhile, a team of researchers in Ponce have designed a platform to observe in real time the incidence and potential spread of COVID-19 in Puerto Rico. The system will identify outbreaks of the virus on the island.

The team of epidemiologists from the Ponce Health Sciences University’s Public Health Program and researchers from the Ponce Research Institute, in collaboration with the Puerto Rico Public Health Trust, designed the online syndromic monitoring platform to obtain data that allow knowing about possible COVID-19 outbreaks and evaluating how the virus behaves on the island.

People will be able to anonymously access a survey, answer several simple questions about their demographics, as well as questions about recent symptoms.

Kenira Thompson, president of the Ponce Research Institute and PHSU vice president of research, said in the absence of sufficient resources for mass confirmation of cases, this voluntary questionnaire will allow people to enter their data on location and possible symptoms.

By having geolocators by area code and, based on the presentation of symptoms, the information collected in real time will help to quickly identify how the virus, based on symptoms, is spreading across the island, she said.

As an example, Thompson explained that, through the platform, it will be possible to identify if there is a high number of people with fever and dry cough in a town, versus other parts of the island.

“I’m extremely proud of this team. Its syndromic monitoring platform marks a crucial moment in COVID-19’s passage through Puerto Rico. Technology and citizen collaboration will allow us to monitor the incidence and quickly see the potential spread of the virus, based on reported symptoms,” said Thompson, while urging citizens to participate in this survey.

Author Details
Business reporter with 25 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other areas of the economy.

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