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Microsoft launches a coronavirus tracker as part of Bing

Microsoft has launched its own tracker for people to follow the spread of coronavirus, officially called COVID-19, as part of its Bing search engine.

The map shows regularly updated numbers for how many confirmed cases of the COVID-19 disease have been reported. Areas affected are shown overlaid with orange circles on the map, with the size of the circle indicating the total number of cases. Hovering over a circle will show you numbers for confirmed cases, recovered cases, and fatal cases.

Bing's new coronavirus tracker
Bing’s coronavirus tracker Image used with permission by copyright holder

You can also use the menu on the left side to pull up country-specific data. Tap on the name of a country to see information about its status. Within the U.S., you can also look at data by state. Some locations also have informational videos listed in the menu so you can see more information about the response to the pandemic in that country.

The data for the map is collected from various health organizations and information sources, according to the data information panel, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, and the Wikipedia page on the 2019-20 coronavirus pandemic.

At the bottom left of the menu, you can click the informational icon to see when the data was last updated. Microsoft hasn’t specified how often the data will be updated, but when we checked it had been updated within the last 30 minutes.

A number of technology companies have introduced coronavirus trackers of various kinds. A similar tracker was introduced by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University last week. Also, Google wants to use its Maps feature to allow businesses to share information about their status during this time.

However, some cybercriminals have been taking advantage of the public’s interest in tracking the spread of coronavirus. A security expert warned last week that hackers were using the John Hopkins tracker in malicious websites and spam emails, with a “digital coronavirus infection kit” being sold online which claimed to track the virus but also included password-stealing malware.

To keep yourself safe from such malware, use only the official websites to access tracking tools. The correct URL for the Bing tracker is here and the John Hopkins tracker is here.

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