How Pakistani app is helpful in emergency of COVID-19?

The Pakistani app ‘Pak Naghban’ feature informs about the condition of beds and ventilators in all hospitals in case of emergency.

How Pakistani app is helpful in emergency of COVID-19?

The National Information Technology Board (NITB), a government agency, has developed an app that is useful not only for COVID-19  patients but also for those who are protected from COVID-19.

The Pakistani app Covid 19 GOV PK has been downloaded by more than half a million people so far. The application is available for free on Play Store in Android phones and Apple Store in iPhones.

Recently, a French security researcher, who has a pseudonym on Twitter under the pseudonym Elliott Alderson, raised a number of questions about the privacy of COVID-19’s patient information in the app.

The researcher claimed that the app’s ‘Radius Alert’ feature was working with hard coded passwords without proper security arrangements. ‘Password hard coding’ means to write the password in the source code (computer program) in simple words, that is, without encryption. According to Elliott, people’s information is insecure in this Pakistani app as their passwords are clearly known.

The French researcher also claimed that the app was downloading the exact latitude and longitude of COVID-19  patients, allowing any hacker to easily download COVID-19 patients in Pakistan. Can find location.

We spoke to Shabahat Ali Shah, the head of the National Information Technology Board, about these claims by Elliott Alderson, who admitted that the information on COVID-19 patients in this Pakistani app was indeed unencrypted.

“There are seven features in this app, six of which were previously encrypted, but now we have also encrypted the Radius Alert feature to secure the information of COVID-19 patients,” he said.

How does this app work in case of emergency?

The most useful and useful feature in the ‘COVID-19’ app is ‘Pak Guardian’. The special feature of this feature is that if you want to take a COVID-19 patient to the hospital in case of emergency, this feature will inform you about the condition of patient beds and ventilators in all the hospitals in Karachi. ۔

As soon as you select this feature in the app, you will get two options which are ‘View Health and Lab Facilities’ and ‘Health Officer Login’. Of these two options, the ‘Health Officer Login’ option is currently not enabled. In this regard, Shabahat Ali Shah said that this feature is especially for doctors, nurses and paramedical staff so that they can keep us informed about the situation of hospitals and labs through it. We will enable this feature soon.

The second option, ‘View Health and Lab Facilities’, will come in handy in case of an emergency, as many people nowadays do not know which hospitals have beds when they want to take COVID-19 patients to the hospital in an emergency. And ventilators are available. An example of this can be taken from the recent death of Dr. Furqan in Karachi. Dr. Furqan was also a patient of Karuna and was suffering from shortness of breath. He visited three to four hospitals at the last minute, where he found out that there were no beds or ventilators available, so he died at home.

This option is very easy to use. Select ‘View Health and Lab Facilities’ after which the app will tell you about the situation of nearby hospitals. In hospitals where the letter ‘H’ is written in a circle in green, it means that both beds and ventilators are available in this hospital.

Hospitals with H written in ‘yellow’ space means that only one of the two items is available here, either beds or ventilators, but if a hospital space has H written in ‘red’ color Which means it’s about to be the most delusional time of the year, as well.

If you choose a hospital, click on its H. The name of the hospital will then appear on your screen along with the information of the beds and ventilators. If you want to know the way to this hospital, you will find an arrow-shaped circle in a red circle to the right of the name of the hospital, clicking on it will take you to Google Map from where you are. Find out the way to the hospital.

The same method can be used to obtain information from labs where COVID-19 tests are being performed.

What other features does this app have?

The first feature that appears on the screen after opening this app on the phone is ‘Dashboard’. This feature tells you the total number of cases of COVID-19 across Pakistan, of which the number of recovering and complex cases is also reported separately. The death toll from COVID-19 is also reported. It not only shares the last 24 hours data from all over Pakistan but also gives you this information from all the provinces of Pakistan.

In addition, a feature called ‘Radius Alert’ can give you information on how many COVID-19 patients are around you. In this feature, COVID-19 patients can declare themselves on their own, for which their name, phone number and ID card number must be registered.

This is followed by the COVID-19 Assessment Tool. This is the app’s information center where you can answer a few questions to find out if you have a COVID-19. This short test asks about your city, travel information, contact with a COVID-19 patient, and COVID-19 symptoms. Based on these answers, this tool will tell you if you are at risk for COVID-19.

Another similar tool is called ‘Krona Chat Bot’. With this tool you can get important information about COVID-19 . You can also find this information in another feature of this Pakistani app, Awareness Videos.

If you forget to wash your hands after all these tasks, this app will also remind you of this, through its ‘Wash Hands’ feature. It also has a hand washing method but this feature only works properly in some phones, this app doesn’t remind you about hand washing even after opening its ‘push notifications’ in other phones, so it is better. That is an important task for us to remember.

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