Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful says the newly launched Ghana COVID-19 tracker will boost the country’s fight against the pandemic by providing accurate data to curb the spread of the virus.
She says the tracker has been designed to quicken the contact tracing efforts and also to discover information that may be difficult to gather through the manual process.
Speaking at the launch of the tracker in Accra today, April 13, 2020, Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful noted that, the government is committed to using innovative technology in its quest to combat the pandemic.
“Experience has shown that one way to combat this pandemic is through technology-experience from those who suffered its effects before we did. The Ghana COVID-19 tracker is one of the tools being used by the government of Ghana to respond to the pandemic and help keep all of us safe. We need accurate data to know where the virus is and is heading towards to be able to fight it swiftly and in the most efficient way possible just as has been done by some affected countries around the world. The app seeks everybody’s assistance through crowdsourcing data to collect as much possible information to assist the Ghana Health Service quickly identify persons or groups of individuals at high risk of being positive for COVID-19 which may otherwise not be discovered through the traditional and manual sources of data collection. The information collected from the app will help us prioritize health services that are already overburden steering them onto the right high-risk areas as early as possible.”
The GH COVID-19 Tracker App is user friendly and free to download mobile software applications that will be available for Android and iOS devices which will enhance productivity assistance which will augment the state’s efforts in the fight against the global pandemic.
It can also be accessed through the USSD code *769# on all networks with options in six local languages.
According to the experts, the software will trace anyone who has come into contact with persons carrying the COVID -19 virus.
The Minister quickly added that the privacy and confidentiality of data provided by users remain crucial and as such, the tracker will not make use of personal identification information.
“Let me reiterate the fact that the systems’ data is encrypted such that no personal information – name, ID or address is recorded on the platform. We are mindful of the privacy of the potential victims and that of all of us,” she said.
Ghana ahead of US, UK in Coronavirus testing
Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia who performed the launch said the enhanced contact tracing by the government has helped the nation in chasing the virus and trying to get ahead of it.
“We are ahead of the countries such as the USA and UK in this and we are also pursuing a strategy of aggressive testing. In terms of testing of the Coronavirus, Ghana, on the basis of the available data we have, is in the top 20 of countries in the world and on the basis of this data too, in Africa, we are number one per capita in terms of testing. In terms of numbers of tests, South Africa is number one and we are second but in terms of testing per capita in terms of testing per our population, we are leading in the continent.”
“We have tested 37,954 people and if you look at Africa alone, the data seems to show, the total number of tests is under 10,000 and Ghana has tested 37,954 of the said number and we’ve increased the testing centres to six but what is significant with Ghana’s approach is we are chasing the virus and trying to get ahead of it,” he added.