John Hopkins removes Palestine from Coronavirus map tracker, draws criticism
The John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, which been used as an important source for tracking the novel coronavirus outbreak across the world, is under fire for removing Palestine from its dashboard.
The world map, updated in real-time, is published by John Hopkins University’s Center for Systems and Engineering.
However, the creator is being criticized for erasing Palestine from the board. Initially, the dashboard listed Palestine and Israel separately.
Human rights experts quickly noticed that it removed Palestine and merged data about Covid-19 cases in the West Bank and the Gaza strip with numbers from Israel.
This meant that those living in Palestine couldn’t track coronavirus cases in the occupied territories.
John Hopkins has since added a section titled “West Bank and Gaza”, but people online don’t think it is enough.
The change was first spotted by Dr. Ritya Giacaman, a teacher at Birzeit University and Rania Muhareb, a legal advocate at the Palestinian human rights group Al-Haq.
Professor Lauren Gardner, the creator of the map did not respond to The New Arab’s request for comment.
There are 97 confirmed cases of coronavirus in West Bank and Gaza and one woman has died in the West Bank due to complications from the illness.