Namibia: Coastal Developer Designs Tracing System

A YOUNG software developer at Walvis Bay has rolled out an initiative that would reduce physical contact at retail shops with Covid-19 registers and improve contact tracing.

The initiative called, Tesla Tracing System would not only work for businesses, but also organisations with a visitors or clients register. Developer Joachim Shilongo (24) said the rising Covid-19 statistics, especially at his town calls for innovation to enable further safety. He stressed that the contact tracing system will be a great improvement from the current pen-and-paper method.

“At every shop or outlet everyone uses the same pen, and that in itself poses a health and privacy risk. The main idea behind our system is to reduce physical contact and save people’s data on secured databases for faster processing,” Shilongo says.

He said the Tesla tracing system allows one to scan an individual’s identity document, as well register contact details on the business’ database for proper security and protection.Shilongo says when a customer’s ID card is scanned, the number is automatically recalled by the system and registers the time and date. The system also groups everybody who visited specific premises at a given time. The innovation has already been registered with the Business and Intellectual Property Authority (Bipa) under Black Fundamente Investments CC, he said. He said for those concerned with identity theft and unwanted ills from exposing names and contact details to a public domain, their system upholds confidentiality.

“Privacy and validity of the information recorded is of vital importance, and therefore standards need to be set to ensure confidentiality too,” he said. Shilogo further stressed that their system makes it easier to find contacts.

“Our system makes the whole tracing process substantially faster and at the same time reduces physical contact. All that is needed here in most cases is just the ID card,” he said. Once a person’s ID card is scanned, the system prompts the user to provide their phone number, which can then be entered manually by officials at the entrance of an establishment. Other benefits of the innovation also include the integration of databases.

“If a positive Covid-19 case is identified, the system searches all the visited shops and all possibly affected people, making it easier to know who to contact for tests and isolation or daily monitoring of health,” Shilongo says. The entrepreneur says trials have already been done on the system with the help of volunteers and further trials will commence on 30 June at the Walvis Bay Police Station.

“We believe if data is presented in a format that allows us to calculate better mathematical models of the pandemic, it will add substantial value to the statistics and we can minimize a detrimental second wave,” Shilongo says. Shilongo says his team is currently also developing a shopping and visitation card for people who do not have an identity document, which will enable individuals to load their contacts and details on the cards, and will not need to always carry their identity cards. As of the time of going to print, Namibia had registered 183 Covid-19 cases – 24 recoveries and 159 still active. Recent data shows that samples tested stood at 8 706 and 869 people still in quarantine.

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Written by Frank

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