With Covid19 cases crossing one lac mark, the pandemic has led to unavailability of beds for patients, in most of the specified covid19 treatment facilities. Attendant’s themselves are roaming around the city to find vacant beds or to shift for ICU care.
The National IT Board under the directions of the Nerve center for Covid 19 has published an app “Pak Nighaban” available from Play Store titled “Covid19 gov pk”.
This app utilizes the data from the National Command & Control Centre, Islamabad which receives updates related to the No of confirmed cases, beds currently occupied in wards and ICU facilities.
For the convenience of citizens this app provides the current status of all nearby health facilities, whether beds are available, ICU is taking patients or is full. Labs are also marked on the map where you can get tested for covid19.
The govt also intends to use this for contact tracing, this app requires mandatory location information via gps, and lets you know if you are in close proximity of a confirmed case via radius alert. Govt claims that the location status of confirmed cases is voluntary depending upon the consent of the patient, but privacy advocates have questioned the transparency and safeguards to protect the valuable data of citizens, this issue came to highlight when security researchers raised finger on the security and encryption of data collected by app, followed by a clarification by National IT board which claimed no privacy violations or any compromise in security of the app was noticed.
Apart from the stats about the no of covid19 positive cases in Pakistan, and the status of bed occupancy in hospitals, the app also provides awareness and safety guidelines via videos and a chatbot, self assessment tool can be used to check your symptoms.
The Covid 19 app provides an easier and time efficient way to find hospitals in pakistan that have beds available in wards and ICU’s.