App developers in South Korea – one of the most tech savvy countries in the world, started developing codes for apps as soon as the deadly novel coronavirus reached the country’s shores
The result was a series of the virus outbreak related apps that emerged in the country,.
As of Thursday, smartphone apps that help users to track the disease were the top six ranked apps out of top 15 apps in terms of downloads form the Google’s Play Store of Korea.
Since launching their products earlier this month, there has been a huge surge in the download of their apps, said developers of some apps — which source their data from public government information.
“The installs are increasing about 20,000 every hour,” said Bae Won-Seok, one of the developers of Corona 100m, in an interview to CNN Business. Using this app, users will be able to know the date of when a coronavirus patient was confirmed to have been infected along with a host of other information such as the nationality of the patient, the gender, age and the places visited by the patient. Users of the app will also be able to see their closeness to known locations of coronavirus patients.
According to Google Play, since the app was launched on February 11, it has been installed more than 1 million times. In fact the server housing the application crashed recently because of a sudden surge in downloads spurred by a sudden increase in the number of reported and confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country, Bae said.
The Corona Map was developed because its developer, Lee Jun-young, found that it was difficult to understand government data. The data released by the government is not very visual even though such data has details about the locations where coronavirus patients have been.
“I thought it would be nice to mark them on a map,” Lee, a former Android software engineer who lives in Seoul, told CNN.
As of date, more than 83,000 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed all across the world. Every continent now has contacted the disease except Antarctica. As of Friday, there were 2,337 cases of confirmed coronavirus infection in South Korea which is also the largest outbreak of the disease outside of mainland China, which has accounted for most of the cases of infection as well as deaths because of the infection.
Life and business in Korea is being affected by the virus outbreak. Temperature checks for passengers are being conducted by the South Korea’s flagship airline – Korean Air. A factory had to be shut down by the global automaker Hyundai in Korea after one of the employees of the plant was found to have contracted the virus caused disease. And four concerts in Seoul have been cancelled by the hit K-pop band BTS.
According to one of the developers, he was inclined to take more precautions to not get infected after he went through what the apps showed. Bae had to send his daughter to stay with her grandparents to reduce the risk of exposure to the virus after finding out the number of people being infected by the coronavirus in his neighborhood.
“When I think that this app can prevent the spread of coronavirus patients by advising people not to go to certain places … I feel proud,” said Lee, the Corona Map developer.
(Adapted from CNN.com)