This global COVID-19 tracker app came from local high school students

Education 21st Century

TOPEKA (KSNT) – Some local high school students are creating an app they’re hoping will help stop the spread of COVID-19.

The cell phone app is being created by students in Cherryl Delacruz’s math class at Highland Park High School. It looks at India and Zimbabwe and how they handled the pandemic; One was able to keep the spread of cases down, and another that wasn’t.

The students’ goal is to get the app in as many hands across the world as possible, so people can learn ways to help end the pandemic faster. It allows them to compare the COVID prevention strategies of the two countries.

“Zimbabwe shutting down most of its infrastructure before it started spreading really helped a lot in the long run, while India hasn’t really kept up with that,” Highland Park High student Gilbert Barranco said.

The app has a library of information the different teams have researched, from techniques that have worked to keep cases down, to strategies that have potentially contributed to a high number of cases.

“India is proof of one of those countries that was against mask-wearing and the lockdowns as Zimbabwe has done, which has led to their pandemic spreading widely and a lot faster,” Highland Park High student Demarques Hinds said.

According to Johns Hopkins Hospital, India accounts for more than one in every three reported COVID-19 cases in the world.

“India cases have increased exponentially, while Zimbabwe is slowly flattening the curve,” Highland Park High student Juan Maldonado said.

Epidemiologists studying the pandemic in India say a variety of factors could be contributing to the worsening situation in India.

“Zimbabwe being a much smaller country while India being a lot more populated,” Maldonado said.

The students are planning to publish the finished app so that anyone can download the app and learn about ways they can help slow the spread of the virus where they live. The groups are also presenting their final app to local experts for feedback, and they hope to eventually present it to other classes in India.

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