BeAware app ‘a huge success’

Nearly 500 cases of Covid-19 have been discovered through contact tracing carried out via the BeAware application.

Information about the effectiveness of the app, its development and general data on how it continues to help combat the virus was highlighted on a webinar held yesterday.

The event, hosted by StartUp Bahrain, featured Information and eGovernment Authority (iGA) chief executive Mohammed Al Qaed who spoke about the role of iGA and the success of BeAware.

“Even before announcing it we received around 40,000 to 50,000 downloads, in a few days we hit the 150,000 mark and similar numbers in the following weeks, so the total downloads have reached 635,000, which represents almost everyone in the population if we remove the young people who were not targeted for the app,” said Mr Al Qaed.

The primary purpose of the app has been to limit the spread of the virus as it uses GPS technology to trace infected cases and their contacts, keep track on data, allow the national task force to locate active cases, as well as figure out the virus’ basic reproduction ratio.

The application also allows health officials to monitor the whereabouts of those who are self-isolating, reducing the risk of the virus spreading, and, hopefully, avoiding the development of clusters.

Mr Al Qaed highlighted how the app had been developed in a week at the start of March. It took another week to receive approval from all the government bodies concerned and another week for approval by the application stores, and it was launched by the end of that month.

Registrations

“The total number of registrations is 376,000, the mobile app also has sections for information, statistics and services such as booking appointments for swabs for people under home quarantine and a service to get the results,” Mr Al Qaed said.

There are currently 8,000 people wearing electronic bracelets linked to the app, with 3,000 having already completed the 14-day task, showing the system was ‘working effectively’.

“The people who have violated home quarantine represent only one per cent of the entire number,” he added.

Another function of the app is contact tracing of suspected cases and Mr Al Qaed stated that Bahrain had ‘one of the best applications’ to carry out this task in the world.

To date 5,200 suspected cases had been notified through the app.

“So far we have tested 3,200,” said Mr Al Qaed, “and we are still waiting for the results of the others. Out of the 3,200, we found 500 infected, which represents 15.5pc infection which is a very high number since random tests show less than a half of a per cent.”

Additionally, Mr Al Qaed said that the team was working on creating new electronic methods of verification for the banking sector. A system had already been developed with Benefit Pay which could be applied by banks to make e-Banking more convenient.

Another project being worked on was a national appointment system for the government too with the tender for the project going up soon.

The GDN previously reported that Forbes Middle East had published a list of “Middle Eastern Covid-19 Apps You Should Know”, ranking BeAware in the top two.

 

Source: http://www.gdnonline.com/Details/824462/BeAware-app-‘a-huge-success’

 

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