The Vice President of Ghana, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia on Monday launched the 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 Ministry 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.
He therefore urged Ghanaians to download the App from: www.ghcovid19.com or daily shot code *769# especially those without smartphones. The Tracker provides advance information on persons infected by the virus, through 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 and other defined locations to help authorities know where they might have expose others to the virus over time. The App will be available on the App store later this week.
The launch of the GH COVID-19 Tracker App was streamed live via the Vice President Facebook Page, and televised on Ghana GTV. He said the App will provide periodic list of telephone numbers of people who has recently been to COVID-19 hit countries to Ghana Immigration Service officials to determine whether or not they should provide an extra layer of screening. The information will also be for quarantine reliability and to monitor whether or not individuals are to go into self-quarantine. The App is an important step by the government to leapfrog technology in finding solutions to the havoc COVID-19 pandemic was wrecking around the world.
“We’re are trying to use digitization to help in the fight against COVID-19. Many advanced countries like the USA, South Korea, and China are using this concept of crowdsourcing from phone data to track and monitor persons affected by the virus and offer healthcare and more importantly to prevent further spread of the virus, Dr Bawumia explained. The Vice President explained 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. If the nation has not taken steps to aggressively test people, we wouldn’t have recorded 566 as of April 11, which would have given us false impressions that we’re 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 44, 421 having their samples tested so far. There are 450 contact tracing teams across the country, and six testing centres in Accra, Kumasi, Tema, Tamale, and Navorongo.
Dr Bawumia made reference to three of the President’s pillars for fighting the virus, which include tracing, testing and treatment. He said “the use of science and data as crucial weapons to fight against COVID-19 cannot be over-emphasized. Ghana’s confirmed total case stands at 636 with 8 deaths and 17 fully recovered.