KUWAIT: Mobile telephone companies have joined ranks in backing up state apparatuses in the fight against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) since its outbreak last year. The companies have launched joint initiatives, providing back-up applications for long-distance teaching, and offering digital infrastructure for quarantines to facilitate the work of the Ministry of Health (MoH), namely the ‘Shlonik’ mobile application to follow up on the condition of incoming travellers in isolation. Moreover, they have launched campaigns publicizing medical information and advices for protection against the coronavirus.

‘Shlonik’ app
Zain telecom has provided a quarantine, built by Kuwait Integrated Petrochemical Industries Company (KIPIC) in Al-Zour in April 2020, with a digital infrastructure to serve the MoH, where the quarantined could benefit from wireless communications and the internet to remain in touch with their families during isolation.

The company also inaugurated, in coordination with the MoH and the Central Agency for Information Technology, the ‘Shlonik’ app to monitor condition of travellers who come from abroad and remain quarantined or isolated at their homes for some time.

Furthermore, Zain has contributed to supporting the national program for psychological guidance which provides an electronic interaction platform to provide assistance for free. It has also offered, in coordination with the Kuwaiti Food Bank, 30,000 meals at the fair ground in Mishref.

Awareness campaign
Meanwhile, the mobile telephone company stc launched a campaign during the early phase of the pandemic to enhance awareness of the hazards caused by the pandemic. It awarded the Ministry of Interior, front line workers, airport personnel and travelers, sanitization devices, protective gear and masks. In the meantime, Ooredoo telecom launched many initiatives to encourage clients stay at home, abstain from mingling with crowds and offered 5G internet service in addition to free local calls for a month.

It granted to the MoH, MoI, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Kuwait General Administration of Customs, the General Department of Civil Defense and Kuwait Airways Corporation, free internet until end of March 2020, as gratitude to the efforts to stem spread of COVID-19.

Oordeeo awarded free calls for incoming citizens who have returned according to the state evacuation plan to bring back nationals stranded abroad. It also vaccinated more than 1,000 of its employees. – KUNA