Rabat – Morocco’s Ministry of Health launched Monday, June 1 the COVID-19 tracking application “Wiqaytna,” “our protection” in Arabic, to help curb the spread of the pandemic in the country.
The Bluetooth-based application compiles a list of all people with whom the user made contact and notifies its users when a name on the contact list tests positive for COVID-19 in the next 21 days after the contact.
Following the notification, teams from the Ministry of Health will carry out an assessment of the exposure risk and, if necessary, intervene to quarantine the notified suspected case, a press release from the ministry said.
The application, launched as part of a national awareness campaign under the theme “Stay vigilant, protect each other,” aims to encourage citizens to continue to adopt preventive measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
The Health Ministry made the “Wiqaytna” application available on Google Play for Android phone users, on App Store for iPhone users, and on the website “www.wiqaytna.ma” for people using different operating systems.
The application is only one way to strengthen the system the ministry has already put in place to monitor people who made contact with COVID-19 patients and does not replace current measures, the press release underlined.
The Ministry of Health developed the application in collaboration with the Ministry of the Interior, the Digital Development Agency (ADD), and the National Telecommunications Regulatory Agency (ANRT). Some Moroccan companies also contributed to the project.
To ensure its respect of users’ privacy, the application underwent tests from the National Commission for the Control of Personal Data Protection (CNDP) and received its authorization. The application’s code is also available in open source on software development platform GitHub.
The Health Ministry called on NGOs, media, and citizens to contribute to the awareness campaign so a maximum number of citizens use the application and boost its efficiency.
While the application’s features and objective seem promising, it remains to be seen whether it will bypass the technological illiteracy of some Moroccans to reach a sufficient number of users for effective operation.
June 1, 2020