As disease-wary customers shun open-air markets, food sellers using Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp have seen a surge in demand.

SA businessman invents app to manage Covid-19 crowds

“People will choose a time slot that is available and convenient from a schedule set by the destination. Once the slot reaches the capacity as indicated by the schedule it cannot be chosen and the shopper must choose the next available and convenient slot. “

DURBAN – Local businessman, Mfundo Dzanibe has created a mobile application to manage social distancing in public spaces such as malls.

The app, created under the banner of Mzansi Digital Partners, comes as the country prepares itself to open up the economy, amid rising fears of an upsurge Covid-19 infections.

According to Dzanibe the Digital Queue (DigitalQ) application will serve as a bridge between these times of uncertainty and the post Covid-19 future. The mobile application would let people queue for available time slots to shopping centres, shops and any other shared destination of interest.

“People will choose a time slot that is available and convenient from a schedule set by the destination. Once the slot reaches the capacity as indicated by the schedule it cannot be chosen and the shopper must choose the next available and convenient slot. 

Dzanibe said traditional ways in which people interacted, both in the privacy of their homes as well as in public spaces, would change forever as a result of the pandemic.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has ushered in the “new normal” and irreversibly changed the way we live, in ways never seen in recent recorded memory. Navigating these unchartered waters, calls for ingenuity and innovation, in a world already characterized by technological disruptions,” he said.

Regarding the efforts to enforce social distancing by retailers, Dzanibe says the biggest challenge is not failure in effective crowd management, but that retailers attempt to control shoppers and patrons when they are already at the outlets. The key is to manage shoppers even before they leave their homes.

“Shopping centres and shops should ration the time for accessing their premises to have a better chance of controlling the crowds as the groups are smaller. This puts shops at risk of uncontrollable crowds storming into shops and possibly resorting to looting,” said Dzanibe.

In addition Dzanibe said the app DigitalQ would be available as a native app from the app stores and a progressive web app from www.appcentral.co.za/digitalq. 

“We urge people to start downloading the progressive app and register so they can receive notification once the native app is published,” he said.

 

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