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Global Voice Group helps governments track and analyse Covid-19 spread for improved reactivity

May 4, 2020 | Digital article
Published on
Digital Business Africa

By Kerry van der Mescht

Published By Digital Business Africa.

Real-time access to mobility data to understand and forecast COVID-19 spread trajectories is crucial for effective action and decision-making. Global Voice Group, a leading provider of IT solutions for governments and regulatory authorities, assists governments in making the most of available data to win the fight against the coronavirus calamity.

The company has taken one step further by developing a state-of-the-art live system that helps African Governments track and analyse the COVID-19 Pandemic. Through the anonymization of personal data and strict limits to data access, this solution greatly improves the reactivity and responsiveness of authorities in compliance with privacy laws.

Global Voice Group has anticipated the growing need of decision-makers for real-time metrics and data to accurately assess, among others, citizens exposure to the virus. This is determinant in order to measure the impact of actions aimed at limiting the Covid-19 spread and to oversee citizens compliance with the measures implemented as part of the emergency response.

The Group is currently assessing opportunities to extend the solution implementation in a number of  countries where it has already deployed major data collection infrastructures and facilities for other purposes, including telecoms and digital transactions regulatory oversight.

Africa: a Continent in need for Better Resilience

Africa faces this global pandemic less equipped and, therefore, with fewer resources to contain, control and outlive the devastating sanitary, social and economic impacts of this crisis.  According to the World Bank, the region’s unique challenges — especially the limited access to safe water and sanitation facilities, urban crowding, weak health systems, and a large informal economy — already make containment policies a big challenge.

Regional governments also lack the sufficient information to track population movements, which further impedes their ability to control the virus spread. Therefore the need for external collaboration in this field is more vital than ever, both from technically and from a knowledge transfer standpoint.

Technological support is required not only to implement these mobility trackers, but also to analyze the related data in order to draft evidence-based policies that really provide the expected results. Moreover, the transfer of ICT knowledge plays a decisive role for equipping sanitary authorities and governments with the right tools to track the virus spread and assess the effectiveness of sanitary measures.

Data to Track COVID-19

On the bright side, mobile penetration has experienced fast growth over the past decade throughout the African continent. Within a highly unbanked population, mobile devices are crucial for many purposes, including financial inclusion in many countries. Now, more than ever, location data gathered from mobile networks can save lives by assessing whether sanitary measures are working.

Another positive fact is the existence of GVG mobile data collection systems in many countries. The Group can quickly re-purpose the use of these cutting-edge platforms — primarily implemented for revenue-assurance and regulatory purposes —, to contact tracing in the fight against COVID-19. For example, these Data Collection and Analytics Systems provide analysis layers to identify individuals suspected of carrying the COVID-19 virus. They can trace their path throughout the country and even trace their suspected contacts as well, quickly identified through communication and transactional patterns.

Data is not the sole answer to face this unprecedented scenario, but it certainly is one of the first vital steps to contain COVID-19 and to allocate public health resources in order to curb the  outbreak.