COVID-19 app to be gifted to WHO after Sri Lanka fails to show interest

By Indika Sri Aravinda

A mobile app developed to help Sri Lanka fight the coronavirus is to be gifted to the World Health Organisation (WHO) after Sri Lanka failed to show interest.

A team of researchers headed by Professor Chandana Jayaratne of the Astronomy and Space Science Unit, Department of Physics of the University of Colombo developed the “SWARAKSHA” app under a COVID-19 pandemic prevention Research Grant from the National Research Council.

Professor Chandana Jayaratne said the app, which is 100% Sri Lankan developed, provides real-time protection with information privacy and can be downloaded free of charge by the public.

However Sri Lankan authorities had failed to show interest in promoting the app among the public.

As a result, it has now been decided to gift the app to the WHO with the assistance of the Ministry of Foreign Relations.

Jayaratne told the Colombo Gazette the technology behind the app will be handed over to the WHO for it to be used globally.

He said the app will send alerts to the phone user when approaching people based on a colour grading system.

Red will indicate COVID- 19 active, yellow-recovered, brown-quarantined, green- quarantine completed, and magenta- arrived from abroad 14/28 days prior.

Furthermore, on a dynamic map the user can assess the risk level before entering a place, like shopping malls.

Professor Chandana Jayaratne said the app was to enable the reopening of the tourism industry, which generates 13% of the country’s income. (Colombo Gazette)

Related story: Mobile app launched to mitigate impact of pandemic