In an age where misinformation is rife, sifting through daily updates about the Covid-19 pandemic can be challenging. From instant messaging platforms to social media, there’s been a spike in the circulation of false and sometimes malicious information.
Now the government says anyone who publishes false information about a person’s status or about the virus itself will be made to pay a fine or face imprisonment for up to six months — or both.
For business, new challenges will come up daily. It may not be possible to have a perfectly smooth workflow any longer, but new tools can help with interruptions. With that in mind, below are six resources to make use of.
The Covid-19 outbreak has affected the supply chain industry globally, prompting SAP to open access to its Ariba Discovery tool for 90 days to help minimise the impact on businesses and consumers. A buyer can post whatever they need to source immediately and a supplier can respond if they can deliver; all postings are free. Ariba is one of the largest digital business networks in the world, used by over 4-million suppliers in 190 countries.
Travelling during the pandemic can be stressful for any passenger, especially if the trip is urgent. Airlines are grounding flights and temporarily halting routes, with limited international flights taking off. To take the burden off your shoulders and keep you up to date with sudden changes under one portal, TripIt has opened its Pro subscription package to all for six months. You can track changes, find alternative routes, track fares and update your inner circle of contacts about any change in plans. Existing users and new sign-ups have until March 31 to claim the offer online.
The health department has created sacoronavirus.co.za, a portal to share information about the spread of the virus in SA. It is updated daily with new cases, statements from the minister, travel advisories and preventative advice to keep you Covid-19-free. It includes a toolkit with myths and facts about the virus, social distancing guidelines, how to self-quarantine and what to do should you come into contact with someone who has been diagnosed with Covid-19.
The website can be accessed even if you have no data.
Visual data resources
Websites Worldometers and the Johns Hopkins University page display graphs and charts of global Covid-19 cases, including summaries of the number of deaths, recoveries, active cases, interactive maps and a breakdown by each country.
And the mediahack.co.za website is also updated daily, with data specific to SA. It has the age breakdown of patients, their gender, home province and countries they have travelled to.
Information power page
Local innovation agency Idea Pioneers has created a portal as a public service initiative that is ad-free and aggregates content in one place. At the touch of a button you can contact the local hotline, the SA government WhatsApp channel, or find free educational portals while schools are closed. It also links to other information including Mediclinic self-assessment tools, ER24’s dedicated page, Lancet Labs testing centres, a Covid-19 policy for the workplace and a first aid e-book.
Health systems support
Software company Salesforce is providing free access to technology for emergency response teams, call centres and care management teams for health systems affected by the pandemic for six months. This will help health-care systems experiencing an influx of requests. It includes Health Cloud for organisations managing higher volumes of calls or chats; Shield for encryption, audit trails and monitoring to help organisations ensure the privacy and security of their data; and myTrailhead which helps to distribute safety and testing protocols to staff quickly.
Published in the Financial Mail
Welcome to Wired to the Web. My name is Nafisa Akabor and I’m a technology journalist covering business and consumer tech for the last 13 years. I’m passionate about start-ups, smartphones, mobile payments, travel tech and electric cars. I’m usually unashamedly taking food photos (@nafisaeats on IG).