Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia on Monday launched the GH COVID-19 Tracker App to enable individuals to access and provide basic information to contact tracers to facilitate easy tracing, testing and treatment of the respiratory disease.
The Tracker, developed by the Ministries of Communication and Health, would also aid health authorities to identify high-risk communities and prioritise contact tracing and testing to prevent further spread of the virus.
The Vice President, therefore, urged Ghanaians to download the App from: www.ghcovid19.com or use the shortcode *769#, especially those without smartphones.
The Tracker provides advance information on persons infected by the virus through various telephone-related data to link them to the health professionals.
It also provides detailed information about people who have been at the same event, location, country or other defined locations to help health authorities know where they might have exposed others to the virus over time.
The App will be available on App stores later this week.
The launch of the GH COVID-19 Tracker App was streamed live via the Vice President’s Facebook page and telecast on Ghana Television (GTV).
The Vice President said the App would provide periodic lists of telephone numbers of people who had recently been to COVID-19 hit countries to the Ghana Immigration Service officials to determine whether or not they should provide an extra layer of screening.
The information will also be useful for quarantine reliability and to monitor whether or not individuals are required to go into self-quarantine.
“The App is an important step by the government to leapfrog technology in finding solutions to the havoc the COVID-19 pandemic was wreaking around the world.
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” We’re trying to use digitisation to help us in this fight. Many advanced countries like the USA, South Korea and China are using this concept of crowdsourcing from phone data to manage and track persons affected by the virus and offer healthcare, and more importantly, to prevent further spread of the virus,” Dr Bawumia explained.
The Vice President stated that what was significant about Ghana’s approach in combating the respiratory disease was chasing the virus and trying to get ahead of it.
“We’re not waiting for people to report to the hospital before we count them as COVID-19 positive,” he said.
He said if the nation had not taken a proactive step to aggressively test people, “we wouldn’t have recorded 566 cases as of April 11, which would have given us the false impression that we are safe”.
Ghana is ranked among 20 countries in the world for testing and first in Africa in terms of the number of people tested per capita, with 37,954 people having their samples tested so far.
There are 450 contact tracing teams across the country and six testing centres, in Accra, Kumasi, Tema, Tamale, Navrongo, and Tamale.
Dr Bawumia made reference to three of the President’s essential pillars for fighting the virus-tracing, testing and treatment- saying, “The use of science and data as crucial weapons to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be overemphasized”.
Ghana’ s confirmed total case count now stands at 566, with eight deaths and four fully recovered.
Globally, there are more than 1.7 million infected people, with 107,000 deaths.