SEOUL, Feb. 24 (Korea Bizwire) — With the novel coronavirus outbreak spreading rapidly in South Korea, a new website and application CoronaNOW (https://coronanow.kr) are receiving high attention.
CoronaNOW provides information about the current status of infections in South Korea through a comprehensive situation board based on data provided by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).
The new service also analyzes overseas sites such as the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering and China-based tech firm Tencent to provide information on Covid-19′s fatality rate and full recovery rate around the world.
The website developers are surprisingly middle school students, not professional programmers. Choi Hyung-bin and Lee Chan-hyung, sixteen-year-old students, are the creators.
While Choi envisions content for the app and website, Lee collects necessary data from the KCDC and delivers it to Choi.
The young programmers said that it took them a full week to complete the site and app, which were launched on February 3.
They were also interested in regional situations and provided information even before the confirmed cases were reported in Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province.
The daily average views of the CoronaNOW service is tallied at 1,500.
As the number of suspected and confirmed Corona patients has increased rapidly in Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province, more than 2,000 people are visiting the web site every day.
The number of app downloads has also surpassed 200.
People who use the site and apps created by the students are also showing enthusiastic responses.
Programmer Kim Ki-seok said, “It was good to see that the information needed to understand the current situation related to Covid-19 was easy to see, and it was hard to believe that middle school students developed it.”
Though development and maintenance costs were several times higher than banner advertising revenues, they plan to purchase masks with profits collected and donate them to the city of Daegu.
Until now, only 10 dollars has been collected, but the students will purchase masks when they collect more money.
“I want to donate masks to those who cannot afford to buy them,” Choi said.
“I would appreciate it if you could understand that it is a precious thing for more people to have a carefree day with masks donated, even if it is inconvenient due to the exposure of advertisements on the site.”
M. H. Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)