KUWAIT: Zain, the leading digital service provider in Kuwait, puts its resources and technological capabilities at the disposal of the state contributing to the activation of the preventive and safety measures implemented by the Ministry of Health and other bodies to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. This commitment by Zain comes within the framework of the high directives of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, to address this pandemic.

The company made the statements on the occasion of the inspection visit by His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah to the Operations Center and Contact Unit for the implementation of Shlonik app (translates to ‘how are you’ in the Kuwaiti dialect) during which he was accompanied by the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Interior, and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Anas Khaled Al-Saleh, Minister of Health Sheikh Dr Basel Humoud Al-Sabah, and Minister of State for Municipal Affairs and head of the Technology Support Team for the Shlonik app Waleed Al-Jassem, in the presence of Zain Vice-Chairman and Group CEO Bader Nasser Al-Kharafi, as well as a number of leaders of the Ministry of Health and the teams responsible for the follow-up center operations.

The Shlonik application was launched by the Ministry of Health (MoH) in cooperation with Zain and the Central Agency for Information Technology (CAIT), utilizing the latest tech solutions to monitor the compliance of citizens who recently returned to Kuwait with regards home-quarantine directives, as well as following up on their health status, their movements and the people who come in contact with them.

Mechanisms of work
During the inspection tour of the center, His Highness was briefed on the mechanisms of work of the Shlonik application, where the officials of the call center reconfirmed the application as an effective tool to address this epidemic, and to help enable the country to gradually return to a normal life in a safer way.

His Highness expressed his appreciation for the Shlonik monitoring procedures, and the efforts made by all government and private sectors involved in the process of launching, follow-up and communication of the application. Moreover, His Highness reemphasized the directives of His Highness the Amir to take all measures and expedite the return of citizens during the month of Ramadan while at the same time protecting the health of the community in Kuwait.

Zain Vice Chairman and Group CEO, Bader Nasser Al-Kharafi said: “The exceptional circumstances that the country is going through due to the COVID19 pandemic requires everyone to unite all efforts and initiatives to confront this crisis.” Kharafi pointed out that Kuwait is one of the first countries to take strict precautionary measures to limit the spread of this epidemic, stating: “The Shlonik application has been very effective in monitoring the home-quarantine directives and compliance of citizens who recently returned to Kuwait, as well as following up on their health status, their movements and the people who come in contact with them.”

Moreover, Kharafi highlighted that in recent times, healthcare has witnessed a massive influx of information technology, a vital enabler for countries and societies, especially in times of crisis. Whether it be in building an integrated database or helping in the stages of analysis, prevention and treatment, many times technology has saved countless lives because of predictive models and analytical data that rely on artificial intelligence.

It is worth noting that Zain participated in the work efforts of establishing the Operations Management Center of the Ministry of Health, where it trained the technical teams charged with managing the work mechanism during this exceptional period, working closely with these teams to reach the best possible operating models.

Five different languages
Developed locally by national talents, the Shlonik application is available in five different languages, Arabic, English, Urdu, Tagalog, and Bengali. The registration process is very simple, the user must enter the mobile phone number and the civil ID number, and once the individual subject to home quarantine arrives home from Kuwait International airport, they will complete the first check-in verification process through the application to inform the specialized team from the Ministry of Health of their arrival at the home, and the start of the home quarantine period.

The second step begins with locating the home quarantine on the map, recording an audio clip, and taking a photo that clearly shows the features of their face, until the identity is matched using artificial intelligence technology when completing future check-ins. The application is the primary communication tool between the quarantined citizen and the Ministry of Health staff assigned to monitor their compliance, where the specialized medical team communicates with the citizen at least twice daily to check on their health.

In support of the comprehensive awareness campaign being conducted by the country’s various institutions further supporting the government’s evacuation plan and home quarantine instructions, Zain Kuwait changed its network’s name to Shlonik. This followed a previous step that Zain undertook with the start of the Ministry of Health’s efforts to urge to stay at home to combat COVID-19, whereby the company changed its network name to STAY HOME, to remind its customers of the importance of staying at home as much as possible, and to contribute to the eradication of this pandemic.