Covid-19 tracker project honoured by president

President Borut Pahor presents the team behind the Covid-19 tracker site with the Apple of Inspiration award. (Photo: STA)

Ljubljana – President Borut Pahor has bestowed the Apple of Inspiration award on the volunteers behind the data tracker site Covid-19 Sledilnik as an expression of gratitude for their important role in informing the public about the spread of the novel coronavirus in Slovenia.

Sledilnik is a story about socially responsible individuals who have recognised the need and the right of people to be informed in a crisis situation. This has created an open and diverse community of more than 150 scientists and experts, the president’s office said.

The award ceremony took place in the park of Villa Podrožnik in Ljubljana on Tuesday, with the project initiator and coordinator Luka Renko accepting the award from the president.

The project “has shown that there is a lot of expertise in Slovenia, that we are able to stand together and defeat even the largest problems,” Renko said.

He added that, in the new year, they would like to see bolder decisions towards more effective management of the epidemic, and that public institutions adjust their systems so that data about the epidemic were machine readable.

“It is precisely the access to data that may build trust and help us weather these difficult times,” he said, expressing the hope that the epidemic would also trigger the much needed improvement of digitalisation of the healthcare sector.

Pahor said that the project merged science and humanity and thanked the Sledilnik team for creating “something beautiful and trustful”, wishing it to become an inspiration for new ideas and projects that would help the community.

The president originally conferred the Apple of Inspiration on all frontline staff on 29 March as “heroes of humanity and hope who have selflessly taken care that life has been as normal as possible during the fight with the epidemic.”

The president has since then been handing out copies of the award to individual segments of employees, including nurses, doctors, sign language interpreters and retail workers.