Pakistan's Corona App expected to be launched within a week

Published: March 20, 2020
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A man uses a smartphone. PHOTO: REUTERS

A man uses a smartphone. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication has decided to develop a mobile application – Corona App – to deal with coronavirus outbreak with the help of technology.

Once the mobile application is launched, people in the capital would be able to check whether they may possibly have coronavirus. By launching the app, the ministry of IT and telecommunication hopes to quash some of the fears among people who think they are being infected.

“Corona App is expected to be launched within a week or 10 days,” Federal Secretary for Ministry of IT and Telecommunication Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui told The Express Tribune.

“The government is fighting a war against the coronavirus and our ministry is playing its part in it by developing the app,” the secretary said.

Siddiqui said that he has given a go ahead and technical teams have been working on the application, adding that he has already suggested the use of e-office and e-mail as much as possible to promote social distancing and contain the spread of virus.

The ministry has tasked the National Information Technology Board (NITB) to develop the app, which will have location based services to detect coronavirus patient through radius alert. The NITB had earlier developed several such projects, including digitisation of Kamyab Jawan for Youth Betterment, Board of Investment visa portal, Durust Daam, Mera Bacha Alert, Automation and Monitorization portal for Ehsaas Programme.

Siddiqui said that public awareness videos, chatbot for public and activity alarm for giving reminder for washing hands, using sanitizer will be made available in application.

City Islamabad App – another name of the Corona app – will be used to monitor complain against those medical stores where there are shortage of masks or any sort of preventive medicine regarding coronavirus.

“Strict action will be taken through district administration once complaint received through the app,” he said.

The officials at the ministry of IT and telecommunication said that the app will not only be “good for people” wondering if they have coronavirus, but also for healthcare staff, as it would allow them to stay up to date on the health of a number of people from a distance. This way, they said, they can respond better to the demand for healthcare in the city.

The officials revealed that the app will also be used to report social gathering as well as to book corona patient appointment in advance before patient enters in designated hospitals. It is envisaged that this would help hospitals to make arrangements in advance. The officials also said that banners related to coronavirus will be displayed on all government websites.

Meanwhile, the NITB Pakistan CEO, Shabahat Ali Shah, announced on Thursday that the government has officially launched coronavirus information platform, which will be updated daily.

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