Photo Credit: 9to5Google
COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to rise as several new countries have started reporting of the outbreak. India has enforced a complete lockdown for 21 days to curb the further spread of coronavirus. In the midst of this pandemic, social media is abuzz with misinformation, and there's a looming apprehension on what to believe and what to ignore. To curb this misinformation spread, World Health Organisation (WHO) is working on an official app to bring correct tips, news, alerts, and other crucial information around the SARS-CoV-2 disease.
9to5Google reports that the new app will be called “WHO MyHealth”, as spotted on GitHub, and it will be launched on iOS, Android, and the Web. This app aims to offer tips, alerts, and more to give you all the information you need during the COVID-19 pandemic. The app was proposed by a collective called ‘WHO Covid APP Collective' and this group has been made by former employees of Google and Microsoft along with WHO advisors and industry experts. Those who want to volunteer to help develop the app can sign up here. The app is expected to launch on Android and iOS on March 30 i.e., Monday. The app is being built in an open source manner, and 9to5Google managed to get a peep into the beta version. This version currently consists of advice around the COVID-19 disease, similar to the WHO WhatsApp chatbot that was introduced a while ago. The app's homepage offers you travel advice, myth-busters, and ways on how to protect yourself.
Apart from relevant information, the WHO MyHealth app looks to offer location-based notification alerts and tools to help diagnose whether your symptoms match to those of COVID-19. The report says that WHO plans to use the app to trace COVID-19 positive cases to better understand the virus spread, but looking at obvious privacy concerns, it may or may not release this feature at launch.
How are we staying sane during this Coronavirus lockdown? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.