Ghana develops app to help track COVID-19 patients

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Ghana has developed a COVID-19 tracker app to help trace people infected with the virus. The country hopes to use technology to curb the spread of the pandemic. CGTN’s Nabil Ahmed Rufai filed this report.

Radiya Mohammed is installing the COVID-19 Tracker app on her phone. She doesn’t have the virus but says it may come in handy as cases of infections in Ghana continue to rise.

Radiya Mohammed, Accra Resident, “Since the government has lifted the lockdown restrictions, we are all at risk. So, I’m installing the covid-19 tracker app so that I can inform the health officials when I have any symptoms.”

Ghana has more than a thousand cases of the coronavirus. The government has developed the COVID-19 tracker app to trace people infected with the virus.

“When the app was launched, it wasn’t available on the play store or the apple store. So basically, it is an Apk file. Apk files are associated with android phones only. For example, if a developer is developing an app, he will normally create an apk file so you can go to their website and download and install, only on android,” Ezekiel Nyame, Information Technology Analyst.

The app allows people to input data including their telephone number and information of any symptoms they have of the coronavirus. With such data, health officials can trace contacts of people infected with COVID-19.

Ursula Ekuful, Communications Minister submits that, “The app does not provide medical advice nor does it provide information on medication. It is an information tool to help all of us to stay safe by providing some basic information and tracking those who might have been infected and providing them with help.”

But the app has other limitations. To install it on some android phones, people have to allow security breaches.

IT experts say people who are not tech savvy may find it difficult to install the app on their phones. And that could limit its effectiveness in contact tracing.

Additionally, those experts say it may take a while for the app to be available on the Google play store or the apple store because it has to go through security checks. The government says it is finalizing the process of making the app available on the app stores so that many Ghanaian can download it.

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