The Department of Health has done really well in keeping the public up to date with the state of COVID-19 in the country, but what if you could get most of the information you need straight from your phone without having to rummage through news websites and social media?
In that case, it would seem that we’re in luck. We are fortunate to be living in the internet age (which, we know, you’ve heard over a million times!), and one of the perks of this is being able to have an app for virtually anything you can think of. If you’ve already typed in ‘COVID-19’ on your phone’s app store/google play store, then you’ll know that there are tons of COVID-19 apps to download — but it’s difficult to find one that has the information you want and need as a South African.
That’s why we tried out several apps and put together a list with some of the most relevant ones for a South African audience.
The COVID-19! App is one of the best COVID-19-related apps out there, and it’s especially useful if you’ve got family and friends who live abroad. It’s constantly updated with the most recent stats for all 183 of the 195 countries that have infections. Just type in the country and you’ll receive the following information:
- The usual COVID-19 numbers (total confirmed cases, total deceased, number of people tested)
- Total number of people currently infected
- The recovery percentage (SA currently has a 49,71% recovery rate; almost 10% more than the global average which sits at 39,92%)
- Number of infected people per number of tests
- Total number of serious cases and mortality rate
- Occurrence per million inhabitants
It also puts all of these numbers in graphs so you can see how they’ve shifted since the first case was reported in each country.
If you want to stay informed about the numbers globally and in individual countries — this is the app for you.
The Mpilo app was developed for Gauteng residents by the Department of Health to make sure everyone is constantly updated on important announcements and the latest developments. The app lets you report any COVID-19-related issues/questions you might have and promises to provide real-time feedback on these. It also offers a facilities directory that lists all nearby medical facilities, lets you request an ambulance and gives you access to useful COVID-19-related information with self-screening, and contact tracing tools.
All in all, a great app to have if you stay in Gauteng.
We know that COVID-19 can remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a number of materials; this is why the Department of Health, the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend the cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfecting of those surfaces as a preventative measure.
The Disinfection Checklist app is there to help you keep track of what you’ve cleaned and disinfected and when. This is not only for individuals but for businesses as well. Based on the CDC’s prevention guidelines, the app has a comprehensive list with 38 checks, it collects photos, signatures, and dates and puts each ‘inspection’ into a PDF as a report that business owners can share with clients and customers.
Another app that was developed in South Africa is the Cancer Dojo app. The app essentially takes cancer patients on a journey that teaches them how to engage actively with their chosen treatments. It also helps patients stay motivated, lets them generate their own meditations, and offers some great comic relief.
People living with cancer are one of the groups of people who are more susceptible to the virus. This, coupled with the actual cancer battle, can leave many patients with devastating anxiety and fearful of their future. This is why the app was recently updated with a COVID-19 feature that gives cancer patients COVID-19 related information that’s most relevant to them.
Some features on the app are paid for, but because of the pandemic, the developers have made everything on the app free to access from May to the end of June.
COVID-19 SA update
As mentioned above, South Africa has a very strong recovery rate with just under half of everyone who tested positive for the virus having recovered. Currently (as of 21 May 2020), South Africa has identified 19 137 positive cases, of which 8 950 have recovered, 369 have passed away and there are 9 818 active cases.
While the Western Cape remains the hardest-hit province (as far as the official numbers are concerned), Prof. Abdool Karim, the chair of the COVID-19 ministerial advisory committee, has come out to say that it’s only a matter of time before the rest of the country experiences what the Western Cape is experiencing now.
“When we look at the way an epidemic occurs, we have an eight-stage strategy,” he said. “We have finished the first four — preparation, prevention, lockdown and active case-finding… We are now in stage five of going to hotspots, but that started in the Western Cape two weeks ago.”
Karim outlined Khayelitsha Spar, Goal Supermarket in Delft and the GlaxoSmithKline factory in Epping as infection hotspots in Cape Town (552 tests resulted in 223 positive cases in these areas).
Source: Womens Health sa