UCU student develops coronavirus app

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Christopher Amuchwa

A student of Uganda Christian University [UCU] has developed an application to help those searching for information about the deadly the Covid-19 pandemic.

Christopher Amuchwa, 23, a Bachelor of Laws Third Year student at the Mukono based institution, called his app “Covid Container” that sieves information and contacts of the personnel overseeing the fight against the virus.

The app will address the spread of fake news and make it easy for Ugandans to reach out in case of an emergency.

The Ministry of Health and government put in place emergency numbers for Ugandans to call in case of any inquiries about the pandemic.

Victoria University

In addition, government also availed other contacts of the people manning the different operations concerning the fight against the virus.

The Covid Container works to avail all these emergency contacts at a click.

The App’s main function is to offer contact information and ease access to services related to containing the spread of Covid.

“What I am creating is a simple app to help people access necessary contacts in time. I have been following the presidential directives critically,” he told Daily Monitor.

“I am looking at how the other side of the world is operating because if you look at Italy and France, you realise that most of them are dying not because of lack of money, but because of limited access … I am seeing a possibility of people going through a difficult period getting services.”

There are incidents, he says, of people having serious emergencies and they cannot contact anyone around.

The app is also expected to tackle the propagation of fake news and misinformation by offering access to credible sources of information.

It eliminates the hustle of browsing through multiple sites to find information.

“I am adding other links of official sources of information to avoid the issue of fake news. I have added World Health Organisation, and Ministry of Health if someone wants to access updates… I am trying to see how best we can put all this into one App, like one handbook to avoid fake news, to avoid panic,” Amuchwa told the newspaper.

How the App works

The app has a chat box where you enter the code word for the specific information. To get all the codes, one can enter “Help”.

Currently, the software has contacts of all Resident Districts Commissioners involved in implementation of presidential measures against the virus.

The user just needs to enter their district and get the contact information of the RDC.

The app also has contacts of Ministry of Health, National Taskforce, and police, among others.

It offers multiple options of reaching out, including voice call, email and short messaging services.

To access information about the virus, the user is required to type “news to access updates by the Ministry of Health and “WHO” to access the different platforms of the World Health Organisation.

The app also offers safety tips and symptoms, options for online shopping and market information.

Although the app is not yet up on the Google Play Store, Amuchwa is leveraging the wide reach of social media to make it available for use.

Amuchwa started working on the app in February following a conversation with an IT professional in Wuhan, China, from which he was challenged to consider life under lockdown.

Credit: Daily Monitor

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