New online platform to help shape regional pandemic response
A new online platform tracking the progress of COVID-19 as it edges through Central America and the Dominican Republic will help countries contain the virus and minimise its social and economic impact.
The publicly-available SICA COVID-19 Information and Coordination Platform shows up-to-date information on active cases, deaths and recoveries from the virus, and is designed to support national pandemic strategies in the region.
Created by the Coordination Center for the Prevention of Disasters in Central America and the Dominican Republic (CEPREDENAC), with assistance from NASA, World Bank and UNDRR, the platform also includes hospital information and emergency services contacts.
"We documented the experiences of all the countries in the region through their statistics", said Claudia Herrera, CEPREDENAC executive secretary.
Alongside the Dominican Republic, data from Costa Rica, Honduras, Panama, Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador and Belize is included in the integrated geographic information platform.
The countries, which are working together to develop a regional contingency plan to tackle the pandemic, are all members of the Central American Integration System (SICA).
The roll-out of the platform follows a virtual meeting of SICA members in March where the countries hammered out a coordinated response to the crisis.
In addition to COVID-19 information, the new platform also contains NASA weather, flood and landslide data, which means it can also be used to help reduce other hazards as the Atlantic hurricane season approaches.
“This effort allows all SICA countries to have a more precise planning tool", said