There’s too many Covid-19 tracing apps in Malaysia

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With everyone scrambling to curb the spread of Covid-19, governments have been quick to introduce Covid-19 tracing apps to help track down close contacts to those infected.

Malaysia and Sarawak have both been fast in tracing down those infected by Covid-19, and apps were introduced by local governments to help ease tracking of close contacts to those affected by Covid-19.

I applaud the swift and quick response of the government. In Sarawak, an app called Qmunity was the answer for those who preferred not to use the manual ‘write name in a book’ for Covid-19 tracing.

The app as I understand was developed by the Kuching South Council (MBKS), but it’s usage went beyond MBKS’s jurisdiction.

MORE COVID-19 TRACING APPS

Soon after, the federal government introduced a feature for checking-in with their My Sejahtera app.

This is when things started to get redundant as My Sejahtera mimicked what Qmunity was already doing.

If that wasn’t enough, the Sarawak government decided to introduce CovidTrace, which is an app also made to trace Covid-19 close contacts.

Covid-19 tracing apps

Therefore, in Kuching alone, there’s three apps for Covid-19 tracing which is used randomly by most locations and businesses.  Some businesses have opted to use two apps at once, others decide to go for just one.  Business that didn’t bother to jump onto contactless technology went with the book and pen to list down their customers for Covid-19 tracing purposes.

THE JUSTIFICATION

From what I read, Qmunity is used to detect and trace Covid-19 users.  My Sejahtera does the same as Qmunity, but at a the national level.

CovidTrace takes the tracing a step further by “recording the duration of encounters between two COVIDTrace users”. This is done with the assistance of Bluetooth connectivity between users of COVIDTrace.  CovidTrace is only for Sarawak at the moment.

So there’s already redundancy between MySejahtera and Qmunity here, hence making it difficult for newcomer app CovidTrace to break into the already famous duo.

Covid-19 tracing apps

This makes CovidTrace less significant and a hassle to install and use.  The fact that the apps utilizes Bluetooth technology only enhances people’s reluctance to install the app as it uses more power.

I’ve noticed that some have tried to justify the need for CovidTrace, saying that CovidTrace is better and it serves the local Sarawak health department, hence enabling faster action if there’s an outbreak of Covid-19 in Sarawak.

QUESTIONS TO BE ANSWERED

However, such explanation proved futile as members of the public continue to ask:

  1. Why do we need so many Covid-19 tracking apps?
  2. Why should there be separate apps between the federal government and the Sarawak government?
  3. If one wants tracking to be done faster, can’t these governments work together better to enhance communication instead of troubling and confusing the public by introducing their own apps?
  4. With vast resources, can’t the government just come up with one app that serves dedicated for Covid-19 for all?

So far, I personally have not come across anyone answering these questions with many just merely pushing the installation of Covid-19 tracing apps.

ONE APP IS ENOUGH

Truth to be told, no matter how you justify it, it is obvious that there’s too many Covid19 tracing apps in Malaysia.

Selangor has their own SELangkah, Penang has PGCare and Sarawak has CovidTrace.  I didn’t bother look-up other states but I’m quite certain Sabah, Johor and many others have their own.  This comes despite the fact that My Sejahtera is already readily available.

I am not against all these good initiatives, but the fact that they are all serving a similar cause makes these apps not only redundant, but a huge waste of mobile phone space and app development funding.

Personally, I think we could just have one good app to serve everyone, but for that to happen, all the governments in the country need to do their part to sync their needs and actions.

Hey, this is just my two cents.

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