Three teenagers have been revealed as the brains behind one of Australia’s most authoritative COVID-19 tracking sites.
In the pandemic, numbers are everything.
New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian is one of millions of Australians tracking the vaccination rates, hoping to get the numbers high enough that lockdowns can end.
She gave an update in Sydney on Monday.
“Pleasingly, we have officially passed the 85% first dose vaccination in New South Wales, which is just outstanding, and we are looking forward obviously to seeing that number continue,” Berejiklian said. “So, can I please encourage everybody in New South Wales to come forward and get vaccinated.”
Tracking a mountain of statistics is complex and time-consuming.One of the most comprehensive Covid-19 monitoring sites in Australia is run by three teenagers in Melbourne.
The website CovidBaseAU has been collating coronavirus statistics since April 2021, breaking down Australian and global data on infections, hospitalizations, deaths and vaccinations.
It was a project that started as a hobby for teenagers interested in coding and the media. Their website has become a trusted source of information.
The site is run by 15-year-old Jack and his two friends.
“It’s important in providing a sort of centralized and easy way to access a lot of data and I think in making we sure that we track the data every single day we are, sort of, able to give a lot of context behind all the data, which some government sites might not be able to do,” Jack said.
For months, the boys wanted to be anonymous. But they were revealed as the brains behind CovidBaseAU when they posted a picture on Twitter after they’d been vaccinated. Jack and his friends say that despite the demands of their tracking website, they are keeping up with their schoolwork.
“At the beginning, firstly we, sort of, just thought that people might not find us as reliable if we were, sort of, kids,” Jack said. “But we have seen that Australia’s health minister, Greg Hunt, he congratulated us, and I saw Victoria’s chief health officer, he retweeted our thing, so it has been pretty special to see that happen.”
Millions of Australians in Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney remain in lockdown as Delta variant infections continue to rise.
About 97,500 coronavirus cases have been recorded in Australia since the pandemic began. 1,231 people have died.