The Ehteraz application, launched by the Ministry of Interior (MoI) as part of Qatar’s fight against Covid-19, has won praise from the users. Available in iOS and Android versions, the app has to be mandatorily installed by all citizens and residents on their smartphones when leaving the house for any reason from May 22.
"Ehteraz is an excellent tool to track the contacts of Covid-19 positive and will definitely help the healthcare officials fight the virus with help of individuals in the society,” said a user who reviewed the app on Google Play.
As per latest figures, more than 100,000 smartphone users have so far downloaded the app from Google Play. This is in addition to the downloads from Apple App Store.
"Ehteraz is your trusted smart application to follow up on the latest updates of Covid-19 in Qatar. Ehteraz has been designed and developed in the Ministry of Interior to support all categories of the Qatari community to spread health awareness tips and techniques as well as the protection methods that are necessary to halt the outbreak of coronavirus," the description says.
Meanwhile, users have come up with suggestions and urged the authorities to improve the functions of the app while introducing more useful features, information and updates.
“Battery drain appears to be an issue in the first release. Hopefully, it should be addressed immediately in order to encourage and attract more users,” reviewed another user on Google Play.
The MoI has informed that Bluetooth and Location are required for the effective functioning of the app by helping to identify if a user has been in the proximity of someone who got quarantined or infected.
The app is being enhanced and urged all residents to keep it updated. Besides helping enhance preventive measures and curb the spread of Covid-19, Ehteraz displays the latest developments and official statistics related to the outbreak. The app also shares awareness and precautionary instructions issued by the official authorities.
Meanwhile, Vodafone and Ooredoo have removed data usage charges for Ehteraz.
A tweet by Ooredoo said: "Dear customer, we encourage you to download Ehteraz, Qatar's Covid-19 risk detector app, that's connected to the MoPH's database to stay updated on the latest developments related to the virus. Downloading and using the app will be free of charge.”
Vodafone, through Twitter, said that all data usage charges for Ehteraz have been removed to guarantee that everyone has access to the latest developments of the virus. “Stay safe and download it now,” a tweet said.