• Tuesday, Dec 06, 2022
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Surokkha app for Covid-19 vaccine providers launched

  • Published at 07:13 am February 18th, 2021
A health worker administers the Covid-19 vaccine to an elderly man at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Hospital in Dhaka on Thursday, February 11, 2021 Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

General people will not have access to this web application

The government has launched the Surokkha app version for Covid-19 vaccine providers, three weeks after launching the registration platform online.

The app is expected to help improve management and efficiency of the ongoing nationwide vaccination program. 

Health Minister Zahid Maleque inaugurated the app on Thursday at Kurmitola General Hospital in the city. 

State Minister for ICT Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak, Beximco Pharmaceuticals Managing Director Nazmul Hassan Papon and high officials of the Health Ministry and the hospital were present.

Appreciating the role of the ICT Division during the pandemic, the health minister said: “The division once again helped the Ministry of Health by providing the apps. It will allow a paperless online process for vaccination which will benefit people.”

The minister hoped that the app would contribute more to the registration process.

According to the ICT Division, the vaccine providers would be able to download the app from the panel store on the ICT division’s server and use it.

After the event, Palak told Dhaka Tribune that the app was prepared for only those who were administering the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine jabs. 

“The general people will not have access to this app. This has been developed to only help better manage the vaccination efforts," he said.

Earlier, the state minister said at the inaugural program that the health workers would no longer need to use computers due to this app. They would be able to perform their duties by scanning the QR code of the vaccine card by using the app.

The information would be sent directly to the central database and would be stored after it had been verified.

Till now, the vaccine providers had to enter NID numbers of the vaccine recipients before administering the vaccine. Now they will receive all the information through the vaccine card, ICT officials said.

If there is a network problem, the health workers can complete the registration later after providing the vaccine. It would reduce the workload and bring about efficiency in work, according to the officials. 

App for registration remains uncertain

Although many are speculating that another version of Surokkha app for general people to complete registration could increase the number of registration, it is yet to be launched. 

An ICT official, seeking anonymity said the reason behind the app for registration not arriving yet was still unknown. 

When contacted, Director (MIS) of DGHS Professor Dr Mizanur Rahman said ICT division did not provide the apps till yesterday and he did not know when it would be provided. 

It is to be noted that the Surokkha app developed to help general people register for the Covid-19 vaccine in Bangladesh was scheduled to be launched on the Google Play Store by February 4, according to announcements by the ICT Division.

However, the initiative got delayed as Google is yet to provide their feedback on the app, health officials said. 

However, ICT officials said they were not concerned as more than 80% of registrations were currently done by mobile devices. 

Some 2.86 million people have been registered online till 6:30pm on Thursday. 

ICT officials said registration might cross three million within midnight as there had been a surge in registration since Thursday afternoon. 

“We noticed several times that around 1,000 people registered in a minute since Thursday afternoon,” one of the officials said.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Zahid Maleque dismissed the possibility of on-site registration for now as the registration number was relatively higher. 

“We are observing around 300,000 registrations and vaccinating 225,000 people in a day. We are happy with the progress and will do whatever is necessary,” he said. 

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