South Africans now have another homegrown resource where they can access information on the coronavirus. The Coronapp, designed by two University of Cape Town alumni aims to be a centralised source of up-to-date information.
Tamir Shklaz and Wisani Shilumani, the brains behind the project, decided to put the app together after noting the incredible amounts of misinformation circulating about the virus.
“The fake news around the outbreak not only created a great deal of uncertainty, but was incredibly dangerous; there were trends such as gargling bleach or supposed home remedies that could cure the virus,” they added. “Additionally, the best possible way for us to fight the virus is to flatten the curve – decrease the speed at which the virus spreads, through social distancing.”
Shklaz recently graduated from UCT with a degree in electrical and computer engineering and Shilumani graduated from UCT in 2017 with a degree in mechanical engineering.
The pair built the app in one weekend. It provides information on the basics of the virus, encourages those who can to stay at home and practice social distancing. It also includes a Twitter section that only shows tweets from the National Department of Health.
The other news sources come from a variety of places. “We chose only high quality, understandable and actionable information that could help answer the following questions: What is coronavirus? How can I protect myself and others? What is social distancing and how do I implement it? What are some of the myths around the coronavirus? What are the most up-to-date actions of the South African government in response to the virus?”
They are currently trying to make the platform zero-rated and are in conversation with government bodies to get broader support.
The app can be accessed HERE.