Science & Technology Constantly updated Covid-19 support available at the push of a button

Constantly updated Covid-19 support available at the push of a button

Clever apps aim to ease the burden of non-emergency calls placed to emergency lines

Response 24's 911 app could be crucial as Covid-19 continues its spread

Tech-savvy South Africans have not missed a beat in helping communities deal with the Covid-19 crisis, by developing apps which give real-time support and advice about the changing dynamics of the pandemic.

One such app which has been updated to deal with the Covid-19 crisis in SA is the 911 Response24 app. The app now sports an emergency response button, called Medical Support SA, which links users to a national operations centre that directs them to the correct Covid-19 facilities and sources of accurate information.

The public are contacting emergency services for non-life-threatening requests, such as for transport to Covid-19 testing centres, or to find the address of their nearest hospital handling the crisis, says 911 Response24 communications manager Kerry Hodgkinson.

These unnecessary calls block call centre lines and are using valuable resources that could be deployed where they are needed most.

911 Response24 communications manager Kerry Hodgkinson

Hit the Medical Support SA button and within a few seconds, a call centre agent will contact you to establish what support you need.

Download the Medical Support SA app via the Apple or Google Play stores.

First of its kind technology

Another ground-breaking app, Yabelana (meaning to share) is keeping the Eastern Cape communities of Ikaheng, Promosa, Lokaleng and Sharpeville up to speed. The first-of-its-kind technology was developed by Nelson Mandela University (NMU) in collaboration with North West University.

“Users can search for service providers in any category, make contact and give feedback about the service provided. This encourages citizen participation and accountable service delivery,” says NMU director of the Centre for Community Technologies, Professor Darelle van Greunen.

Yabelana is expected to be rolled out across the Eastern Cape and service providers are encouraged to register on the app so that people in need can see which providers closest to them are open during lockdown.

This video outlines steps one should take before going to the doctor (it’s essential to call ahead so as not to infect other patients):

Share your Covid-19 #lockdown experiences on our Facebook group, Lockdown Diaries South Africa.