Govt launches pilot project to monitor spread of Covid-19 pandemic via app

The MySejahtera app is available on most app stores and encourages users to share info that will help the Health Ministry monitor the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. — Apple

The Malaysian government has introduced a pilot programme, a mobile app, to help monitor the spread of Covid-19 by collecting data from citizens through health self-assessments.

The MySejahtera app said it enabled users to determine their health levels, identify nearby hospitals and clinics where they can get tested, and get information on what to do if they do contract Covid-19 and where to get treatment.

The app’s self-assessment element involves six yes/no questions related to whether users have Covid-19 symptoms and a contact tracing exercise. Users can also check in to the app and share their location or a photo with authorities.

It also contains key info like the Covid-19 hotline number as well as a Virtual Health Advisory that links users to medical video-consultation platform, Doctor On Call.

To register, users need to go to the app’s website – registration cannot be done on the app – and provide a phone number or email address to get a one-time login.

Once registered, users can then complete their profile on the app. This includes a lot of private information including age, IC number, address, nationality and ethnicity.

There is also an optional declaration on whether you have any pre-existing health conditions like heart disease, diabetes or cancer.

On its FAQ page, the app assures that users’ private information is only for monitoring purposes and will not be shared. It adds that a user’s identity will be protected, even if they are identified as a Covid-19 patient.

The app is managed by administrators within the Ministry of Health (MOH), with the assistance of National Security Council (NSC) and Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (Mampu).

Users can also register their family members or individuals they are living with who do not have their own phone number or access to a smartphone.

According to its FAQ page, the app is also meant to assist MOH in monitoring the pandemic’s spread and act as an early warning system for trends in the outbreak.

The app was developed through a strategic collaboration between the NSC, MOH, MAMPU and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

It is available on the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, Huawei AppGallery and the government’s own mobile app gallery (Gamma). It supports devices using Android 4.4 or iOS 11 and newer.

On March 25, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced that the app was being developed to assist with contact tracing and allow the Health Ministry to alert people who have been exposed to Covid-19 infectees.

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