The Director of Public Health Department at the Ministry of Public Health, Sheikh Dr. Mohammed bin Hamad Al Thani has emphasized that ‘Ehteraz app’, should be installed in mobile phones from 22nd May, and this is mandatory as it aims to protect the community from COVID-19 infections and to strengthen preventive measures and limit the spread of the virus in Qatar.
Speaking to the media, Sheikh Dr. Al Thani said that the app has been aiming for such a goal by alerting people who have been in contact with a person who has already been infection, according to standards determined by specialists in Ministry of Public Health.
When someone is diagnosed with the coronavirus disease, every person who has installed the Ehteraz app in their phones will receive an alert if they have come in contact with the COVID-19 patient. They can then go to the health centre to be checked.
The app also provides latest official updates and statistics issued by the Ministry of Public Health around COVID-19 in a simple, concise manner. It notifies users of latest measures and precautionary instructions issued by the concerned authorities in the country.
Sheikh Dr. Al Thani also said that the installation of the app is easy and is available for all smartphones and can be downloaded from the Apple Store and Google Play. Once installed, you only have to follow the completion process to activate the app.
After installing, a page containing the health code of the user appears, which will help in knowing the health status through different colours. The green colour implies that the user is COVID-19 negative. Grey colour indicates that the user has either come in contact with a person who has the virus or has been tested and is awaiting results, while yellow colour is for people who are under quarantine. The red colour indicates that the user is COVID-19 positive.
The app also has details of latest statistics of COVID-19 in Qatar from the Health Ministry. There are other details with contact numbers for any health or technical queries.
The app works by tracing people who are under quarantine. When individuals who are under quarantine leave their home or hotel or quarantine facility, without the knowledge of concerned authorities, the user is alerted through the app, and he is contacted by the Health Ministry to inquire about the reason for leaving quarantine, and then necessary measures are taken.
As for confidentiality of data in the app, Dr. Al Thani said “We confirm that all user data on Ehteraz app is completely confidential and is only accessible to relevant and specialized teams when necessary.”
It is important to keep the app always running so as to accurately record interactions with other users and make the right alerts when you come in contact with an infected person. It can also help people maintain social distancing and can provide vital info on when you need to get tested or to enter quarantine, he pointed out.