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Students invent tool that senses COVID-19 risk area 

By Andrew Masinde

Added 26th May 2020 06:59 PM

He explained that based on this selection, the tool will match a general risk level information with generic guidance on how to prevent COVID-19 transmission.

Students invent tool that senses COVID-19 risk area 

The students explaining how their innovation works to Prof Nawangwe (C). Photo by Andrew Masinde

He explained that based on this selection, the tool will match a general risk level information with generic guidance on how to prevent COVID-19 transmission.

COVID-19 | INNOVATION

KAMPALA - For more than two months, Ugandans have been under lockdown as a measure to control the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

However, once activities resume, whether in phases or at once, it is most likely that measures such as social distancing, avoiding crowds, and touching surfaces will be interrupted, which could put the population at risk of contracting COVID 19 or spreading it.

Also, many Ugandans will be uncertain on how safely they can navigate through their daily activities without transmitting or contracting the Virus infection.

To provide a solution to this challenge, two students at Makerere University doing Bachelor of Medicine have invented a web-based tool called "COVID Can I Do It" which is aimed at clearly defining the risk levels of everyday activities in regards to COVID-19 transmission from one individual to another.

Joseph Byamugisha, one of the inventors in his final year says as the government eases the lockdown in phases, the tool will guide people on how they can do their everyday activities while minimizing contraction and transmission of the infection.

According to Byamugisha, the risk scores of the tool are adjusted to cater for age, comorbidities, pregnancy, smoking, and exposure in the final risk score output and these affect the severity of the outcome, which in turn affects the burden on health care systems.

"An individualized activity risk assessment tool is very necessary to prevent flaring of COVID-19 disease by giving people information in terms of risk scores and provide alternatives on how to go around high-risk activities without spreading or contracting COVID-19 infection and will remain an active tool even when the lockdown is lifted," he said.

How it works

David Mpaju, also in his final year said individuals will access it by opening a web page, which takes you to the home page where you fill in your profile to choose from the different options accordingly.

"Once you select your activity of interest, you fill in the name of the place where you are going to have the activity.

The tool will inform you how crowded and busy the place is in terms of days of the week by displaying bars," Mpaju said.

He explained that based on this selection, the tool will return a general risk level information with generic guidance on how to prevent COVID-19 transmission.

You will also be provided with additional, personalized suggestions for individuals who are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 such as the aged, among others.

Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, the Vice-Chancellor of Makerere University, after seeing the demonstration of how the tool works, thanked the students for the important innovation in the time of COVID-19 pandemic.

He said the tool will enable people to take decisions on pending activities during Covid-19

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