President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged South Africans to use innovative apps, COVID Alert South Africa and COVID Connect WhatsApp platform to detect the outbreak, and control further spread of the deadly virus.
Addressing the Nation on Wednesday evening during his announcement of the country’s transition to alert Level 1 and further relaxing COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, the President urged everyone who has a smartphone to download the apps from Google or Play Store.
He added that mobile networks don’t charge to download the apps.
“Using Bluetooth technology, the app will tell any user if they have been in close contact with another user who has tested positive for the coronavirus in the past 14 days.
This app is anonymous, does not collect or track any personal information including the location,” said the President.
He said the Health Department had also developed WhatsApp and SMS systems for people without smartphones to offer them with test results and alert them of any exposure to the virus.
“Contact tracing is an important precautionary measure to protect yourself, your family, and friends.
We will conduct a national survey to assess the true level of infection within the society,” said Ramaphosa.
The President stated that nationwide study will allow scientists to estimate asymptomatic infections and immunity within the population and better understand the transmission patterns of the virus.
“We continue to maintain our health care capabilities to make sure that we can cope with outbreaks and that everyone gets the care they need,” added President Ramaphosa.