back to article Techie collective to whip together official WHO-backed COVID-19 app within a week to meet 'urgent, global need'

The World Health Organization is working on an open-source app for Android, iOS and the web "to help contain and mitigate COVID-19". Anyone interested is invited to pitch in. The app, aimed at "location-based containment, triage & response", is described here. People involved include US-based Dr Daniel Kraft, who describes …

  1. O RLY

    To answer the subheading

    "But will it be any better than the up-and-running WhatsApp effort?"

    In one way, it will have a different audience and one that includes me. I don't use WhatsApp, wasn't aware of the WHO effort through it until I read this article, and don't plan to change the former so long as WHO has a functional website.

  2. HildyJ Silver badge

    Question for the rest of the world

    I wonder what it will add to Google's website. At least in the US Google seems to provide all of this app's information and then some but it is US focused. Does anyone in the UK know if provides general information with links to NHS instead of CDC? Does anyone from elsewhere have any feedback? Or does the link (which is right below the search box on Google's home page here) even appear outside the US?

    1. Tromos

      Re: Question for the rest of the world

      The Google home page here has a link to I expect the /covid19/ page is the same (i.e. US focused) everywhere.

    2. KarMann

      Re: Question for the rest of the world

      I tried both that and here in the UK, and both have links to the CDC & WHO, including CDC's 'info about COVID-19 in the US' link. No NHS at all.

  3. Denarius Silver badge

    Point being?

    What happened to a website and a universal reader for such? Browser I think they called it

    1. NATTtrash

      Re: Point being?

      Nah, you're showing your age...

      They are trying to get the Millennials on board. Don't forget, it isn't real if it doesn't happen on the screen of your mobile...

  4. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    First of all, recenter the project goal

    This should not be considered a COVID-19 response app, but a pandemic response app. The next time a pandemic occurs, the app should be quite capable of handling the info for that pandemic, no need to reinvent the wheel.

    Of course, the timeframe for a response app to be actually useful for this round is limited, so consider that whatever you can cobble together is basically a trial run. Limit the functionalities to the bare minimum. Right now there is a perfectly functional website. People can go there, so it's not like we have no information to go on.

    By all means, make an app if there's any chance that it can help get the right information out to people, but take the long view. COVID-19 is not the first pandemic to hit us, and it certainly won't be the last.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Will it be any different to the [insert social media platform name here] app?

    I don't know but shirley, there is enough data out there and 24/7 media coverage that it really isn't needed.

    The '' site is pretty good and relevant to use here in Beleagured Blighty.

    TBH, I'd like a bit less COVID coverage and more stuff that allows us to put the impending disaster out of our minds for at least a while.

    Shirley (she gets about a bit...) it can't be too hard can it?

    I'm rapidly running out of unread books to read.

  6. tip pc Silver badge

    WHO advice on what’s app

    That WHO Whatsapp tool needs to be more widely publicised.

    I only found out about it reading this article and have shared it widely amongst family and friends.

    El Reg should perhaps have a prominent headline on the front page promoting it so more of us can share.

    Apologies if this is old news but could be a life saver.

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