With President Ramaphosa announcing the country moving into level 3, it’s more important than ever to maintain a strict hygiene level. The threat of Covid-19 still very much looms over us as a nation and individuals will need to continue social distancing until further notice.
Some good news is that a United Nations agency has gone live with a new COVID-19 Self-Diagnostic Application & Predictive Modelling Dashboard, a digital tool to both help South Africans self-assess their COVID-19 symptoms, and aid government efforts to pinpoint virus hotspots.
Covid-19 Self Diagnostic Test
The project is the product of a coalition between the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR); the Global Surgery Foundation; the Rali and Makentse Mampeule Foundation; the University of Cape Town Division of Global Surgery; and Slalom – a Global Technology Company.
This completely voluntary self-diagnostic tool collects data that is fully anonymous, allows users to assess symptoms and guides them to the next course of action and identifies potential hotspots and communities at risk.
How It Works (if you’re well):
The Application, which is designed specifically for South African users, requires low data bandwidth and is available in local languages.
It’s an online test that gives you a couple of simple questions to assist you with your self evaluation:
Further questions include:
- Have you had a flu shot in 2019/2020? (yes/no)
- Did you have all of your childhood vaccinations? (yes/no)
- What is your age?
- Where do you live (suburb/city).
How It Works If You Are Unwell
- They will ask when you started to feel unwell (choose a date).
- There is a check list of symptoms to declare including fever, cough, fatigue, sore throat, loss of small or taste, headache, trouble breathing, pinking vomit, confusion or inability to around, blue/grey/whitish lips and face, rash, sneezing, aches and pains, nausea, runny nose, chills/night swears, diarrhea.
- They will ask you to declare any previous medical conditions such as lunge disease, asthma, serious heart conditions, weak immune systems, cancer treatment, HIV or AIDS, very overweight, diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, high blood pressure.
It will then proceed the same demographic questions as above followed by travel questions such as:
- Where have you travelled within the last 15 days?
- How many people live in your household?
- Do you live with anyone over 60?
Once this has been completed, they will provide you with health care service information that you can use to contact the authorities and get help.
So if you have any concerns, feel free to use this service.
How It Will Help South Africa (& Africa)
This test will allow the Department of Health in the following ways:
- Control the spread of COVID-19 via focused identification and testing.
- Focus limited COVID-19 testing and treatment resources effectively.
- Predict new in-country spread for early interventions.
- Identify “safe zones” in which the economy can be kick-started.
In turn, this will support health policy leaders in making critical decisions, including prioritising resource allocations, targeting testing efforts, and making informed life-saving decisions in the fight against COVID-19.
It will also help control the second and third waves of COVID-19 by providing accurate aggregated data to help inform policy decisions as well as allowing health care professionals to assess their wellness.
Health of Africa
The launch comes as the World Health Organization warns that the death toll on the continent could reach 190,000, and that transmission patterns will follow a course different from that seen on other continents.
Access the Covid 19 Self Assessment Test for Free
The application has launched in South African and will be rolled out to other African countries in the next few months. Access the test for free at: http://covid.za.com
All the best for the new few months. Stay home, be safe.