Simon's Blog

Visualising Covid-19 in Malta

March 04, 2021


When the pandemic the world became obsessed with numbers. Back then it was new infections, eventually deaths and now vaccinations. A flurry of visualisations popped up, most famously the one from John Hopkins University. To help myself understand the progress of the pandemic in my home country of Malta and as an excuse to learn more about GatsbyJS, I created my own visual tracker.

The main difference between my Covid-19 tracker and the rest is that I wanted to localise it specifically to Malta. Whilst many use WHO, CDC or ECDC data, I based mine on two sources:

  • The Open Dataset published by the Public Health team in Malta
  • A collection of events that I maintain myself

By encoding events on the chart alongside official data, I avoid speculation and unreliable reporting whilst also helping to show the effects of events and measures introduced on the situation.

How its made

  • The data retrieval, parsing and calculation is a set of Python 3 scripts which retrieve from the Public Health open dataset.
  • The visualisation is generated using GatsbyJS and react-vis, using TypeScript
  • The automation of updating data depended on GitHub Actions until it was moved to Jenkins instead to avoid having to update the repository with the data generated every day.

You can find the latest version hosted here: and more information about the project on the GitHub Repo.

Written by Simon who lives in Malta. You can find out more about me on the about page, or get in contact.