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Malaysia rolls out apps to help ease movement control

While the Covid-19 pandemic shows no signs of stopping, authorities have introduced several mobile applications to help the public, frontliners as well as the authorities to make the travel, contact tracing and self-assessment process much easier during and after the movement control order (MCO).

The recently announced three apps, namely GerakMalaysia, MySejahtera and MyTrace, which can be downloaded by the public to help the government curb the spread of the Covid-19 infection.

Experts highlighted the significance and differences between the three apps and how to use them as intended:

Gerak Malaysia

Developed by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), this app is designed to help the law enforcement and MOH trace and analyse users’ movement nationwide to contain the spread of the pandemic.

Users also can register or apply for interstate travel via the app instead of applying manually at police stations.

The app previously provided a digital ID in the form of a QR code, which contained users’ personal information, but not in the latest version, which will also not include notification for approved applications for interstate travel.

However, the app stirred controversy after an earlier beta version was not recognised by the NSC.

It was also criticised by the public after the police announced that it had several built-in features such as for applying permits to move within a 10-km range, despite authorities saying it would not be utilised.

While the app is available for both Android and iOS users, it was reported that only Android users, who are the majority of its users, can download the latest version or version 2.0 while for iOS users, the latest version will only be made available on 5 May 2020.

MySejahtera

MySejahtera this is a one-stop app to get the latest information and statistics on the pandemic. It was jointly developed by four government bodies, including the National Security Council (NSC) and the Ministry of Health (MOH),

The app is useful for Persons Under Surveillance or those who are quarantined during the MCO. It has a self-evaluation feature, where users can fill out a questionnaire on their current health status. Once completed, a result will be provided as to whether the person is at risk of being a patient.

The app also informs users of what action needs to be taken if a person is infected with Covid-19, and has a tracker to track Covid-19 hotspots.

The MOH does have access to user data on the app, which allows it to act if a possible infection has been identified. MySejahtera is the only app now which is fully functional and available for both Android and iOS users.

MyTrace

This app was developed by MOSTI and is a contact tracing app that uses Bluetooth to measure how long a user’s phone has been in proximity to other MyTrace users.

If a user is diagnosed with Covid-19, this would allow the authorities to track and contact those who might have contracted it from them.

Data can also be shared with the MySejahtera app if a user has both installed on their phones.

Currently, the app is only made available for Android users, with an iOS version available soon.

SELangkah

On 4 May 2020, the Selangor state government rolled out a visitor registration system dubbed SELangkah: Langkah Masuk dengan Selamat.

However, this is not technically a mobile app. It supports registered business or commercial premises owners by providing them with unique QR codes that can be placed on posters and scanned by visitors who enter their premises.

This enables businesses or private commercial premises as well as state government offices to keep track of their visitors via a digital log and allow for quick contact tracing by health authorities if one of the visitors test positive for Covid-19.

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