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Coronavirus

Kenyan youth develop a contact tracing app for PSV’s

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 11 – At a time when COVID-19 has slowed down economies globally, many continents have deployed the use of technology to curb the spread of the disease.

It is the same battle in Kenya where both the government and individuals are taking up personal initiatives to come with technological means that can be adapted to contain the virus.

Edward Mbogo and Bernard Adongo have developed an app dubbed Myride Africa, which can be used by Personal Service Vehicles and Matatus.

The app, which is downloaded on Google store at no extra cost can be used by the crew members who can do a personal record keeping.

So far, it has served over 50 PSV’s since the first case of coronavirus was reported in the country.

This is how it works

For every PSV crew who has downloaded the application, one can record personal information of the passengers in which individuals can be traced in case of virus exposure reported from the same vehicle.

“The conductor records the ID number or Phone number of each passenger whenever they board the vehicle. This information can be saved for several days and can be accessed by the government for Contact Tracing when required,” said Mbogo.

Additionally, passenger can use the app to pay for their bus fares through M-Pesa, at a time when government continues to encourage on the use of cashless transactions.

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“The commuter self-records their commute details. They can also easily initiate Mpesa payment from the app. This was originally built to help the commuter to keep a record of their trip details, the collected data can be used to track their potential exposure to Covid19 through public transport,” Mbogo added.

Other benefits included in the app allows the passengers to wait for and take their favorite matatus, track all the trips taken and the cost, report incidents that the matatu could be involved in, among others.

Mbogo and Adongo are currently in talks with the government to ensure the system can be rolled out in the country to support the transport sector.

The sector has been one of the hard hit due to some of the measures such as carrying limited number of passengers to ensure social distancing in the matatus.

Chairman of Matatu Owners Association Simon Kimuta earlier mentioned that the directives saw revenues slash by 25 percent where some matatus resorted to hike fare prices.

As at Friday evening, coronavirus infections in the country had risen to 621.

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