Doha: The Keralite expat community is proud of EHTERAZ, the contact-tracing app, that has helped contain the COVID-19 spread in Qatar. The app of the Qatar heath department was developed by Orbis Systems. The project director of the company is Alby Joy, a native of Kollam in Kerala.
Once the app is downloaded and registered, an individual comes under the surveillance of the Ministry.
Using GPS and bluetooth, the app tracks the individuals and also gives health updates. The colour code of a healthy individual is green. For COVID-19 patients, the status is red and yellow for those in quarantine.
Also, those who have been in contact with the patient or have undergone tests will be marked in grey.
If the test results turn positive, the colour code in the mobile app will turn red. The app will also issue a warning if there are COVID-19 patients in the vicinity.
If people do not have the app installed when they step out of the house, they would be fined with a maximum of 2 lakh Riyal or three years of imprisonment.
After the app was made mandatory on May 22, the COVID-19 spread reduced by one-tenth.
The app helps to identify those who have been in contact with the patients, and these individuals are then put under quarantine or provided treatment. This helped reduce the COVID-19 spread.
The public transport services in Qatar will resume from Tuesday. And travel permits will be given for only those who are 'green' in the EHTERAZ app.
The green status is also mandatory for entry to places of worship and government offices.
The Kerala government had also decided that the app approval was sufficient to get travel permits for the expats' flight journey back home. This was indeed a proud moment, Alby Joy said.
Dr Mohan Thomas, an ENT specialist in Qatar, also said that the infection spread can be stopped by launching a similar app in Kerala. He said that a request in this regard was also submitted to the Chief Minister and others.