Covid-19 tracking App to be launched this week

Source: Covid-19 tracking App to be launched this week | Sunday Mail (Top Stories)

Sunday Mail Reporter

THE Ministry of Health and Child Care, in conjunction with the Harare Institute of Technology (HIT) and a local start-up — Matsimba — will this week launch a mobile phone application to allow users to report suspected Covid-19 cases and deaths.

Dubbed CoronaAlert, the mobile application will empower health authorities to monitor all reported and confirmed cases in real-time.

The launch will coincide with the unveiling of a complementary website.

HIT director of technology transfer, licensing and commercialisation centre Dr Talon Garikayi, who oversaw development of the software, last week told The Sunday Mail that the application had satisfied all requirements and was ready for launch.

It would be downloadable on mobile application stores such as Play Store (for Android devices) and App Store (for Apple gadgets).

“Both the application and the website are functional and will be availed to the public soon because the Government has already given the green light,” said Dr Garikayi.

“The Ministry of Health and Child Care will take care of the launch since we are only their technical partners.

“This is our way, as an institution, to contribute to the fight against Covid-19 and give back to the community.”

According to Dr Garikayi, the application will be downloaded free of charge and is compatible on most smartphones.

“It is a very simple app to use. After downloading and installing, it redirects you to a landing page where you can report cases in a few clicks,” he said.

“So upon making a report the team at the call centre, using a set criterion, determine if the case is urgent or not. If it is (urgent) they will give the person a call and take in full details.

“As the users punch in details, such as names and phone numbers, the application captures the location automatically.

“This information will be strictly protected and only be available to authorised personnel depending on their level of clearance.”

HIT has been one of the leading local academic institutions in the fight against Covid-19.

The institution recently developed a ventilator, which it is under testing before trials begin.

A ventilator is crucial in the fight against the worst symptoms of Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

It delivers room air or oxygen-enriched gas into the breathing circuit of patients with conditions such as pneumonia or during mass casualty events.

Globally, there is a massive shortage of ventilators and surgical masks due to the crippling impact of the Covid-19.

HIT alongside its partners and the Government has manufactured a disinfectant booth.

The institution recently began mass producing hand sanitisers.