Southern Times Writer
Tshwane – A leading South African management and technology consulting firm has developed a data-driven tool it believes can significantly tilt the scales in favour of humanity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
IQbusiness has since approached South Africa’s National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) with its technology, which assists decision-makers with the information they need to combat the spread of COVID-19 more effectively.
The firm says by tracking the movement of people, the tool is able to gather information that will allow for specific responses in localised areas rather than the current blanket approach of national lockdowns.
The data-driven tool is a result of collaborative research by IQbusiness and Washington-based Social Progress Imperative to develop COVID-19 measurements and prioritisation frameworks.
“With more access to current, relevant data that IQbusiness will share with the NCCC, blanket national restrictions do not need to characterise the response to Covid-19 any longer. This is especially important in South Africa, where local and provincial socio-economic dynamics affect infection rates differently,” the firm said.
“Working together with respected global experts at the SPI, IQbusiness has offered the NCCC the use of an Integrated Risk and Response tool (the IR tool) to assist South Africa in its fight against the spread of Covid-19 while managing the impact on the economy.
“Using a battery of social, economic and health indicators, the IR tool is able to provide this unique and accurate overview by drawing on Facebook’s “Mobility for Good” function. This function tracks the actual mobility of citizens, with their permission, and gives instant feedback on where and how frequently people are moving around the country.
“The IR tool will provide the NCCC with reliable, granular and localised information to better guide its response to flattening the Covid-19 curve. It would enable the NCCC to make responsible decisions that encourage economic activity in cities and provinces where strict regulations do not need to be applied.”
While the NCCC is yet to respond to the proposal by IQbusiness, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has been at the forefront of encouraging technological interventions in the fight against the global pandemic.