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Indonesian startups launch a platform to disseminate information related to COVID-19

Users can also use the platform to report potentially dangerous crowd gatherings.

Picture from Unsplash.

Indonesian “smart city provider” startup Qlue has teamed up with conversational artificial intelligence (AI) startup Kata.ai, chat software provider Qiscus, and  information technology company Volantis to launch Indonesia Bergerak, an interactive site that visualizes public reports and information related to COVID-19. All of this is integrated with other data, such as the number of confirmed cases in each area and the availability of referral hospitals that are near a user.

Starting today, Qlue activates smart city ecosystem by providing QlueApp as citizen platform to report and observe the COVID-19 development, and QlueWork (workforce management tool) which is used by BNPB (The National Disaster Management Agency) officers on the field to coordinate various tasks effectively and efficiently,” said Qlue CEO and founder Rama Raditya in a statement.

Other than submit numbers and status updates, users can also report crowds that have gathered in public spaces. On March 15, President Joko Widodo called on all Indonesians to practice social distancing and stay at home as much as possible to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country. In Jakarta, the capital city, which has the highest number of cases and fatalities, the government has enforced stricter rules, such as temporarily closing schools, entertainment places, and tourist resorts, and reducing the frequency of public transportation. Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan declared an emergency on March 22 and made a specific call for companies to implement work-from-home measures.

However, not everyone has complied. Some people still go out with friends or perform group activities such as Friday prayers, ignoring the dangers that they might present to others in these situations. Concerned citizens can report these crowds through the platform, providing details such as pictures and addresses. As of March 23, concerns about gatherings make up more than 80% of reports submitted on the platform.

Reports on crowds dominate the Indonesia Bergerak platform. Screenshot from Indonesia Bergerak site.

“We believe that this pandemic could be stopped if everyone unites and looks out for each other, starting with small actions such as maintaining physical distance to curb the viral spread and reporting the potential spread of coronavirus through the QlueApp. One small step can save a thousand others around us,” Raditya said.

Head of BNPB, Doni Monardo, who leads Indonesia’s coronavirus task force, appreciated the startups’ contribution. “This initiative will help BNPB in making strategic policies in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

The agency has partnered with Qlue since 2017 in various post-disaster recovery processes throughout Indonesia, such as the 2018 earthquakes in Lombok and Palu.

Right now, Indonesia is still struggling to slow down the spread of the coronavirus across the archipelago. As of March 22, there are 514 positive cases, with 48 deaths and 29 recoveries.