A Coronavirus app is currently under work by the World Health Organisation(WHO). It is an open-source project, and many volunteers that include ex-Google and ex-Microsoft employees are helping in for its creation. These volunteers mostly include people from the health and tech industry. WHO has already collaborated with WhatsApp for a WhatsApp chatbot to keep people updated about the coronavirus’ spread as well as render necessary information about it.
To provide access to accurate and timely information about symptoms, diagnosis, and prevention WHO has doubled its technical initiatives. Many volunteers from the tech and health industry are working with WHO to create a coronavirus app that will help in creating broader awareness about the virus and also guide them on how people can protect themselves and others.
These groups of volunteers are called the WHO COVID app collective, and if you want to be a part of this collective, you can sign up here. The group is currently focusing on the initial prototype and how the app is running. It is trying to mimic the features that the WhatsApp bot does, which is providing information about the pandemic. This app is going to be globally released around the world for both iOS and Android users. “WHO MyHealth” is the tentative name decided for the coronavirus app.
The primary concern is to make the app more localized and to support more languages, mainly WHO’s six official languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish. More features like triage survey, which will help people with symptoms to get a preliminary diagnosis, will be added. More ambitious suggestions were also given by the group, which are similar to getting the self-reported location history of an infected individual. This will help Google Maps to enable contact tracing; this technique was proven to be useful in countries like China, Hong Kong, and South Korea to assist in containing the spread of the virus.
CoWin-20, Corona Kavach: India’s Coronavirus Apps
Indian govt has introduced CoWin-20, the Corona Kavach apps will soon help in mitigating community spread.
To protect the Indian citizens from getting infected by COVID-19, the State-run Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MietY) is testing a novel application called Corona Kavach.
South Korea has managed to contain the spread by using its technology. Now, India is testing the Corona Kavach (which means Shield) app, an app similar to Singapore’s TraceTogether, to lessen the community spread.
This coronavirus app uses the user’s mobile number, location data (through GPS). It matches their travel history with that of the Coronavirus positive patients, which is documented by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) data in the backend.
Also, Corona Kavach uses Bluetooth, which will warn the user not to venture out to a particular location, where any COVID-19 patient had stayed or traveled to that place. It will also send notifications to users who were in close contact with any person who gets tested positive for coronavirus.
MeitY has already released the Corona Kavach beta app on Google Play store (here) and once all the bugs are cleared, the coronavirus app will be made available to the public for both Android phones and Apple iPhones.
Besides the Corona Kavach by MeitY, Niti Aayog, the government’s planning commission is also working on another coronavirus app called CoWin-20. With the help of mobile’s GPS (user will have to give access to permit location), CoWin-20 aims to stop the community spread of coronavirus. It will also ask for the mobile owner’s travel history, to decide whether he or she is at risk of getting COVID-19 and also ascertain the number of people the user may have come in contact with.
It will also display the location of the government health centerstew2q to get themselves tested for the coronavirus. Once cleared from bugs will the coronavirus app will be rolled out to the public on both Google Play and the Apple App Store.
Corona Kavach and CoWin-20, both of them will support English and all regional languages of India.