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An Investigation Into the Impacts of ICT in the Compacting of COVID-19: A Namibian Context

BOHR International Journal of Smart Computing and Information Technology
BOHR International Journal of Smart Computing and Information Technology
BOHR International Journal of Smart Computing and Information TechnologyBOHR International Journal of Smart Computing and Information Technology

The study aimed to investigate into the impact of a National COVID-19 Health contact tracing and monitoring system for Namibia. The study used qualitative methods as a research strategy. Qualitative data was collected through zoom meeting and a Google form link was distributed to the participants. The findings of the study revealed that a total of 18 participants responded to the semi-structured questions of which 38.9% represents male while female 61.1%. The age group between 18–25 response rate were 22.2%, age group between 26–35 response rate were 55.6%, age group between 36–45 response rate were 16.7% and the age group between 46 and above response rate was 10% represented in green colour to represent participants who fall in the age group between 46 and above

An Investigation Into the Impacts of ICT in the Compacting of COVID-19: A Namibian Context

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International Journal of Smart Computing and Information Technology
2020, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 47–52
Copyright © 2021 BOHR Publishers
www.bohrpub.com
An Investigation Into the Impacts of ICT in the Compacting
of COVID-19: A Namibian Context
Nikodemus Angula
Namibia University of Science and Technology, Department of Technical and Vocational Education
and Training, Windhoek, Namibia
E-mail: chcangula@gmail.com
Abstract. The study aimed to investigate into the impact of a National COVID-19 Health contact tracing and moni-
toring system for Namibia. The study used qualitative methods as a research strategy. Qualitative data was collected
through zoom meeting and a Google form link was distributed to the participants. The findings of the study revealed
that a total of 18 participants responded to the semi-structured questions of which 38.9% represents male while
female 61.1%. The age group between 18–25 response rate were 22.2%, age group between 26–35 response rate were
55.6%, age group between 36–45 response rate were 16.7% and the age group between 46 and above response rate
was 10% represented in green colour to represent participants who fall in the age group between 46 and above.
Therefore, the present study will investigate into the impact of a National COVID-19 health contact tracing and
monitoring system and proposed a system which will allow every public member who visits an enclosed public
place by capturing their demographic information as well as the date and time the facility was visited. The system
replaces the paper-based method of recording the information of people visiting public places with an entrance that
allows the coming in and out of people. The proposed system will also allow for real-time monitoring of temperature
changes of individuals.
Keywords: ICT, Impact of ICT on COVID-19, COVID-19.
1 Introduction
This chapter offers an introduction to the report and typ-
ically introduces the problem, the research question and
delimitations.
1.1 Background
Covid-19 is the world’s most recent pandemic that has
been encountered in every nation of the world (WHO,
2020). The pandemic has been destroying many of the
world’s economies and causing death to many in soci-
ety (WHO, 2020). As such, this is not an exceptional case
for Namibia. In light of the challenges caused by this
pandemic, this study proposed a tracing and monitoring
system that could trace and capture all the demographic
details for public members visiting public places that have
entrance and exit points.
The proposed system will allow Namibia’s Ministry of
Health and Social Services to easily trace all the public
members who visited any public place anywhere and any-
time without the social workers having to physically visit
public places where the members who would have been
diagnosed with the case of Covid-19 would have visited
that specific and other public places. The system proposed
will allow every public member who visits an enclosed
public place by capturing their demographic informa-
tion as well as the date and time the facility was visited
(Premalatha, Keerthana, & Abarna, 2019). The system pro-
posed will replaces the paper-based method of recording
the information of people visiting public places with an
entrance that allows the coming in and out of people. The
system proposed will also allow for real-time monitoring
of temperature changes of individuals. Moving into a new
era of healthcare, new tools and devices need to be devel-
oped to extend and improve health services such as remote
patient monitoring and risk prevention.
In this concept, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Cloud
Computing present great advantages by providing remote
and efficient services (Premalatha, Keerthana, & Abarna,
2019). In India, many patients are dying because of heart
47
48 Nikodemus Angula
attacks and the reason behind some of the deaths is that
they are not getting timely and proper help. To give them
timely and proper help first there is a need to continu-
ously monitor the patients’ health. The fixed monitoring
system can be used only when the patient is on the bed
and this system is only available in hospitals. The sys-
tem has also been developed for home use by patients
that are not in a critical condition but need to be con-
stantly or periodically monitored by a clinician or family
member. In any critical condition, the SMS is sent to the
doctor or any family member. The study done by Chan
and Ma (2020) state that the most important insight from
the global COVID-19 response to date has been that to suc-
cessfully slow transmission and protect health systems, it
is essential to accurately diagnose and effectively isolate
and care for all cases of COVID-19 including cases with
mild or moderate disease (in health setting or home setting,
depending on the context and degree of illness). Chan and
Ma (2020) further, added that as COVID-19 transmission
has advanced globally, the primary focus of most countries
has been the rapid identification, testing and treatment of
patients with serious and severe COVID-19, and the shel-
tering of individuals at the highest risk of poor outcomes.
Similarly, Ting, Carin, Dzau, and Wong (2020) in their stud-
ies pointed out that the IoT provides a platform that allows
public-health agencies access to data for monitoring the
COVID-19 pandemic. For example, the ‘Worldometer’ pro-
vides a real-time update on the actual number of people
known to have COVID-19 worldwide, including daily new
cases of the disease, disease distribution by countries and
severity of disease (recovered, critical condition or death)
(https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/). Johns
Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engi-
neering has also developed a real-time tracking map for
following cases of COVID-19 across the world, using the
data collected from US Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO),
the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control,
the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention
(China CDC) and the Chinese website DXY, which aggre-
gates data from China’s National Health Commission and
the China CDC (https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/app
s/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd4029942346
7b48e9ecf6).
Ting, Carin, Dzau, & Wong (2020) state that with the
involvement of ICT, tracking a disease may not even
require direct human involvement. Smart devices, or the
“internet of things,” can aid in the passive recognition of
potential epidemics before they become a threat. For years,
Kinsa Health, a company which manufacturers smart ther-
mometers, has published an online map of recorded body
temperatures which has successfully predicted the onset
of the seasonal flu ahead of the CDC’s own systems for
the past two years. With over 90% of known coronavirus
patients experiencing a fever, such an approach could the-
oretically be adopted in order to anticipate new localized
disease outbreaks and contain them before they grow to
reach larger scales. Given the high rate of adoption for
wearables such as Fitbit that promote personal fitness in
the past five years, the health data which could identify
and locate an outbreak in progress may already exist, being
collected passively from millions of smartwatch users
per day. Research is currently taking place to determine
whether the data collected by these devices is sufficient
to identify likely cases, possibly even before the onset of
symptoms. Furthermore, Finally, internet users may gener-
ate sufficient data over the course of their ordinary online
activities to identify emergent outbreaks, and even previ-
ously unknown symptoms of the disease, when analyzed
in aggregate. Researchers at University College London
have found a strong geographical correlation between
Google searches for disease symptoms, such as fever, anos-
mia, and shortness of breath, and community outbreaks
of COVID-19. Most intriguingly, the surges in these search
results predated the public identification of these locations
as infection clusters, meaning the same passive analytical
tools could be applied to anticipate outbreaks and take pre-
ventative measures before they spiral into the public eye
and out of control.
In the Namibian environment, the current methods
used to trace and monitor member of the public enter-
ing enclosed public place is manual paper based system.
The present study is investigating into the impact of a
National COVID-19 Health contact tracing and monitor-
ing system for Namibia and propose a solution to mitigate
such challenges.
2 Research Problem
In the Namibian health domain, there is the chal-
lenge of public members visiting public places and their
demographic information is captured manually which is
yet another risk in the spreading of Covid-19. This is
because the public members visiting any facility across the
14 regions of the country use one pen that is availed at
each facility to write their details and as such this might
put public members at risk of contracting Covid-19.
This study proposed a monitoring and tracing surveil-
lance system that can capture all the details of every public
member visiting any public place that has an entrance
and exit point’s countrywide. Public health surveillance,
and by extension the systems used to enable surveillance,
is central to the practice of modern public health. Pub-
lic health surveillance contributes data and information
to assess and characterise the burden and distribution
of adverse health events, prioritise public health actions,
monitor the impact of control measures, and identify
emerging health conditions that may have a significant
impact upon the population’s health. The core role of
surveillance systems within public health practice, and
An Investigation Into the Impacts of ICT in the Compacting of COVID-19: A Namibian Context 49
their concomitant capacity to greatly influence the effi-
ciency and effectiveness of the public health system, has
stimulated research to strengthen the scientific basis of
public health surveillance. In 1970, only 7% of PubMed
articles about surveillance (20/277) focused on methods,
but that proportion rose to 60% by 2015 (7,400/12,400)
(Groseclose & Buckeridge, 2017).
3 Aim and Research Question
This study aims to investigate into the impact of a National
COVID-19 Health contact tracing and monitoring system
for Namibia.
What is the impact of a National COVID-19 Health con-
tact tracing and monitoring system for Namibia?
4 Delimitations of the Study
The study only engaged only Covid-19 participants from
the Ministry of health and social services in Namibia. The
study only covered Khomas region and the unavailabil-
ity of participants from the 13 regions of the country were
excluded.
5 Research Method
The study used a qualitative approach. A qualitative
approach was used primarily because it enabled the study
to engage the participants through zoom meeting to gather
data qualitative data (Jackson, Drummond, & Camara,
2007). The qualitative research method was selected as a
strategy. Meaning that qualitative data was collected. This
is mainly because the qualitative type of data is expressive,
and opinion from involving actors. The study employed a
case study approach. This enables the researcher to under-
stand and explore a single unit of analysis in this case the
Ministry of health and social services.
6 Data Collection Method
The study used the semi-structured interview to gather
qualitative data through zoom meeting and Google link
form. The semi-structured interview technique conducted
has allowed flexibility during data collection, this included
instant probing of participants answers that were obtained
as this was done face to face (Adams, 2015). The semi-
structured interview used has allowed the flexibility to
rephrase and restructure the questions during the inter-
views. The study used design science research to guide in
the development of the prototype.
7 Participants/Sampling/Data
Collection Strategy
The study sample size was 30 participants and hence only
(eighteen) (18) participants responded to the research ques-
tions. The determinant factor of the study sample size was
based on Dworkin, (2012), who articulated that in quali-
tative studies, a target population of 30 is considered as
sufficient representative sample and also considers satura-
tion point at which additional data do not lead to any new
emergent themes in qualitative studies. The study used
purposive sampling because it enabled the researcher to
rely on personal judgment when choosing members of the
population to participate in this study (Ames, Glenton, &
Lewin, 2019).
8 Data Analysis Method
The study employed interpretive techniques to analyse
qualitative data. Interpretive techniques were used to
enable the researcher to organise, rearrange, categories,
summarise and modelling qualitative data in a descriptive
format. Interpretive research is a research paradigm that
is based on the assumption that social reality is not singu-
lar or objective, but is rather shaped by human experiences
and social contexts (Elliot & Timulak, 2005).
9 Research Ethics
As stated in the research objectives, and indicated in the
research methods section, the research was carried out,
using healthcare facilities for MoHSS. Due to the sensi-
tive nature of healthcare data, the ethics of the institution
was highly considered. The study abided to the ethics
of the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS),
and the specific healthcare facilities that were used. Also,
the research ethics of the University of Stockholm, under
which this study was conducted, was strictly adhered to
throughout this research study.
10 Results
A total of 30 participants engaged in the study and semi-
structured questions were distributed to Covid-19 social
workers through Google form link in Namibia of which
18 participants responded.
Response Rate
The study was conducted with the Covid-19 social
workers from Ministry of health and social services in
50 Nikodemus Angula
Figure 1. Gender response rate.
Figure 2. Age group response rate.
Namibia. A total of 18 participants responded to the semi-
structured questions of which 38.9% represents male while
female 61.1%.
Figure 1 above represent the number of participants that
were engaged in the study which means female were the
majority to respond with 61.1% response rate while minor-
ity were male with a response rate of 38.9%.
The study distributed Google link form to different
age group as represented on Figure 2 in a form of age
group response rate in percentage. The age group between
18–25 response rate were 22.2%, age group between 26–35
response rate were 55.6%, age group between 36–45
response rate were 16.7% and the age group between 46
and above response rate was 10% represented in green
colour to represent participants who fall in the age group
between 46 and above.
The above represent the gender, age group and number
of participants who were engaged in the study of which
female were 11 while male were 7 as depicted in Table 1.
The current methods used to trace and monitor public
members during Covid-19 period.
The response rate from age group between 18–25 revealed
that the current method used to trace and monitor public
members who visited different place in Namibia revealed
that thermo gun, thermometer, manual paper recording are
some of the current methods used in Namibia to trace and
monitor covid-19 patients.
Table 1. Number of participants in each age group.
Number of
Age Participants in Each
Gender Group Age Groups
Female 18–25 11
Male 26–35 7
36–45
46 and Above
Total participants 18
The response rate from the age group between 26–35
indicated that in Namibia there are no immediate and read-
ily available centres to test people and thermometer, paper
record and register book are used as a methods of tracing
and monitoring Covid-19 patients.
The response rate from the age group between 36–45
revealed that the current method used to trace and monitor
people in Namibia is a digital thermometer used to check
everyone’s temperature before entering any enclosed pub-
lic place.
The response rate from the age group between 46 and
above indicated that a thermometer used by capturing
everyone’s temperature who is entering any enclosed pub-
lic place.
The current challenges experienced by Ministry of health
and social services when tracing and monitoring public
members entering any enclosed public place.
The response rate from age group between 18–25 revealed
that data cannot be retrieved from previous visit such as
daily, weekly and monthly since information is traced and
monitored manually and also no enough thermometer.
The response rate from the age group between 26–35
indicated that there is an unavailability of thermometer in
the Namibian public facilities.
The response rate from the age group between 36–45
pointed out that some people visiting enclosed public place
do not write their correct demographic information on the
manual paper based system in place at the moment. The
participants further indicated that since the Ministry is
using a manual paper based system information can eas-
ily get lost.
The response rate from the age group between 46 and
above revealed that papers sometimes can be missed
resulting in storage challenges. The participants further
state that even though private companies have registers
were public members are registered their demographic
information this information is not necessary shared with
the Ministry of health. However, most government offices
have in place a Covid-19 screening area, the Ministry
of health have also identified some health facilities as
Covid-19 testing centers, in addition to that there are
mobile teams that does active tracing in communities
which report such information back to the head office
An Investigation Into the Impacts of ICT in the Compacting of COVID-19: A Namibian Context 51
manually as data gathered is not reported back to the head
office in real time.
Why does the Ministry of health use a manual paper
based system.
The response rate from age group between 18–25 this is
only method available at the moment.
The response rate from the age group between 26–35 this is
the only method available at the moment.
The response rate from the age group between 36–45 this is
the only available method at the moment.
The response rate from the age group between 46 this is the
only available method at the moment.
Overall the present study discovered in both age groups
18–25, 26–35, 36–35, 36–45 and 46 and above the par-
ticipants revealed that the Ministry of health and social
services in Namibia use a manual paper based system
to trace and monitor public members temperature when
entering any enclosed public place.
Recommendations
The present study recommends the Ministry of health and
social services in Namibia to develop a prototype applica-
tion system that can trace and monitor the temperature for
an individual that visits public places in Namibia
11 Data Collection and Analysis
Qualitative data was collected through, sharing Google
form link and zoom meeting interviews with the eighteen
(18) Covid-19 social workers. Interpretive techniques were
used to enable the researcher to organise, rearrange, cat-
egories, summarise and modelling qualitative data in a
descriptive statistics that enabled the study to present the
data in a more meaningful way, which allowed simpler
interpretation of the data.
12 Findings
The study obtained the data by distributing Google form
link to participants who were categorised according to
their gender and age group such as 18–25, 26–35, 36–45
and 46 and above. In each age group were asked to
respond responded to the following research questions
which include what ere the participants demographic
information?, what were the participant’s age groups?,
what are the current methods used to trace and moni-
tor members of the public temperature when visiting any
enclosed public place in Namibia?, what are the current
challenges encountered by the Ministry of health and social
services by monitoring and tracing public member’s tem-
perature when entering enclosed public palace? and the
last question was if participants can provide other infor-
mation related to the topic under discussion.
The findings of the study revealed that a total of 18 par-
ticipants responded to the semi-structured questions of
which 38.9% represents male while female 61.1%. Besides,
the study also.
The study distributed Google link form to different
age group as represented on the pie chart above in
a form of age group response rate in percentage. The
age group between 18–25 response rate were 22.2%, the
age group between 26–35 response rate were 55.6%, the age
group between 36–45 response rate were 16.7% and the age
group between 46 and the above response rate was 10%
represented in green colour to represent participants who
fall in the age group between 46 and above.
13 Discussion
In this concept, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Cloud
Computing present great advantages by providing remote
and efficient services (Premalatha, Keerthana, & Abarna,
2019). In India, many patients are dying because of heart
attacks and the reason behind some of the deaths is that
they are not getting timely and proper help. To give them
timely and proper help first there is a need to continu-
ously monitor the patients’ health. The fixed monitoring
system can be used only when the patient is on the bed
and this system is only available in hospitals. The sys-
tem has also been developed for home use by patients
that are not in a critical condition but need to be con-
stantly or periodically monitored by a clinician or family
member. In any critical condition, the SMS is sent to the
doctor or any family member. The present study findings
revealed that in both age groups 18–25, 26–35, 35–36, 36–45
and 46 and above the participants revealed that the Min-
istry of health and social services in Namibia use a manual
paper-based system to trace and monitor public members
temperature when entering any enclosed public place and
the age group between 18–25 response rate were 22.2%, age
group between 26–35 response rate were 55.6%, age group
between 36–45 response rate were 16.7% and the age group
between 46 and above response rate was 10% represented
in green colour to represent participants who fall in the age
group between 46 and above.
14 Analysis of the Results
The study analysed the data through the use interpre-
tive techniques whereby qualitative data gathered through
zoom meeting and Google link form were interpreted by
rearranging, model the data, summarise and categorise
52 Nikodemus Angula
which enabled the study to cleanse, transforming and
modelling data to discover useful information, informing
conclusions and support decision making.
The study asked the following questions to the partici-
pants and the participant answered that both age groups
18–25, 26–35, 35–36, 36–45 and 46 and above the partici-
pants revealed that the Ministry of health and social ser-
vices in Namibia use a manual paper-based system to trace
and monitor public members temperature when entering
any enclosed public place and the age group between 18–
25 response rate were 22.2%, age group between 26–35
response rate were 55.6%, age group between 36–45
response rate were 16.7% and the age group between 46
and above response rate was 10% represented in green
colour to represent participants who fall in the age group
between 46 and above.
The qualitative data collected were proven as reli-
able and credible simply because a saturation point was
reached by all the research questions answered from dif-
ferent participants in each gender and age groups their
answers were the same which prove that the answers pro-
vided by the participants were credible.
15 Future Research
The study is recommending future researchers to consider
all aspects that were not covered in this research. Besides,
anything that was not included in this research should be
considered in future studies. The study proposed future
studies to develop a prototype application system that can
trace and monitor the temperature for an individual that
visits public places in Namibia.
16 Conclusion
In the Namibian health domain, there is the chal-
lenge of public members visiting public places and their
demographic information is captured manually which is
yet another risk in the spreading of Covid-19. The present
study proposed a system that can trace and monitor the
temperature for an individual that visits public places in
Namibia, which includes the temperature for the present
day, temperature for last month and also the temperature
for the individual for the previous day (yesterday).
References
Adams, W. C. (2015). Conducting Semi-Structured Interviews. Hand-
book of Practical Program Evaluation: Fourth Edition, (August 2015),
492–505. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119171386.ch19.
Ames, H., Glenton, C., & Lewin, S. (2019). Purposive sampling in a qual-
itative evidence synthesis: A worked example from a synthesis on
parental perceptions of vaccination communication. BMC Medical
Research Methodology, 19(1), 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12874
-019-0665-4.
Chan, J. H. L., & Ma, C. C. (2020). Public health in the context of
environment and housing. Primary Care Revisited: Interdisciplinary
Perspectives for a New Era, (April), 295–310. https://doi.org/10.1
007/978-981-15-2521-6_18.
Dworkin, S. L. (2012). Sample size policy for qualitative studies using in-
depth interviews. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 41(6), 1319–1320. https:
//doi.org/10.1007/s10508-012-0016-6.
Elliott, R., & Timulak, L. (2005). Descriptive and interpretive approaches
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of Research Methods for Clinical and Health Psychology (pp. 147–159).
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Jackson, R. L., Drummond, D. K., & Camara, S. (2007). What is qualitative
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id-strategy-update-14april2020.pdf?sfvrsn=29da3ba0_19.

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An Investigation Into the Impacts of ICT in the Compacting of COVID-19: A Namibian Context

  • 1. International Journal of Smart Computing and Information Technology 2020, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 47–52 Copyright © 2021 BOHR Publishers www.bohrpub.com An Investigation Into the Impacts of ICT in the Compacting of COVID-19: A Namibian Context Nikodemus Angula Namibia University of Science and Technology, Department of Technical and Vocational Education and Training, Windhoek, Namibia E-mail: chcangula@gmail.com Abstract. The study aimed to investigate into the impact of a National COVID-19 Health contact tracing and moni- toring system for Namibia. The study used qualitative methods as a research strategy. Qualitative data was collected through zoom meeting and a Google form link was distributed to the participants. The findings of the study revealed that a total of 18 participants responded to the semi-structured questions of which 38.9% represents male while female 61.1%. The age group between 18–25 response rate were 22.2%, age group between 26–35 response rate were 55.6%, age group between 36–45 response rate were 16.7% and the age group between 46 and above response rate was 10% represented in green colour to represent participants who fall in the age group between 46 and above. Therefore, the present study will investigate into the impact of a National COVID-19 health contact tracing and monitoring system and proposed a system which will allow every public member who visits an enclosed public place by capturing their demographic information as well as the date and time the facility was visited. The system replaces the paper-based method of recording the information of people visiting public places with an entrance that allows the coming in and out of people. The proposed system will also allow for real-time monitoring of temperature changes of individuals. Keywords: ICT, Impact of ICT on COVID-19, COVID-19. 1 Introduction This chapter offers an introduction to the report and typ- ically introduces the problem, the research question and delimitations. 1.1 Background Covid-19 is the world’s most recent pandemic that has been encountered in every nation of the world (WHO, 2020). The pandemic has been destroying many of the world’s economies and causing death to many in soci- ety (WHO, 2020). As such, this is not an exceptional case for Namibia. In light of the challenges caused by this pandemic, this study proposed a tracing and monitoring system that could trace and capture all the demographic details for public members visiting public places that have entrance and exit points. The proposed system will allow Namibia’s Ministry of Health and Social Services to easily trace all the public members who visited any public place anywhere and any- time without the social workers having to physically visit public places where the members who would have been diagnosed with the case of Covid-19 would have visited that specific and other public places. The system proposed will allow every public member who visits an enclosed public place by capturing their demographic informa- tion as well as the date and time the facility was visited (Premalatha, Keerthana, & Abarna, 2019). The system pro- posed will replaces the paper-based method of recording the information of people visiting public places with an entrance that allows the coming in and out of people. The system proposed will also allow for real-time monitoring of temperature changes of individuals. Moving into a new era of healthcare, new tools and devices need to be devel- oped to extend and improve health services such as remote patient monitoring and risk prevention. In this concept, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Cloud Computing present great advantages by providing remote and efficient services (Premalatha, Keerthana, & Abarna, 2019). In India, many patients are dying because of heart 47
  • 2. 48 Nikodemus Angula attacks and the reason behind some of the deaths is that they are not getting timely and proper help. To give them timely and proper help first there is a need to continu- ously monitor the patients’ health. The fixed monitoring system can be used only when the patient is on the bed and this system is only available in hospitals. The sys- tem has also been developed for home use by patients that are not in a critical condition but need to be con- stantly or periodically monitored by a clinician or family member. In any critical condition, the SMS is sent to the doctor or any family member. The study done by Chan and Ma (2020) state that the most important insight from the global COVID-19 response to date has been that to suc- cessfully slow transmission and protect health systems, it is essential to accurately diagnose and effectively isolate and care for all cases of COVID-19 including cases with mild or moderate disease (in health setting or home setting, depending on the context and degree of illness). Chan and Ma (2020) further, added that as COVID-19 transmission has advanced globally, the primary focus of most countries has been the rapid identification, testing and treatment of patients with serious and severe COVID-19, and the shel- tering of individuals at the highest risk of poor outcomes. Similarly, Ting, Carin, Dzau, and Wong (2020) in their stud- ies pointed out that the IoT provides a platform that allows public-health agencies access to data for monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, the ‘Worldometer’ pro- vides a real-time update on the actual number of people known to have COVID-19 worldwide, including daily new cases of the disease, disease distribution by countries and severity of disease (recovered, critical condition or death) (https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/). Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engi- neering has also developed a real-time tracking map for following cases of COVID-19 across the world, using the data collected from US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC) and the Chinese website DXY, which aggre- gates data from China’s National Health Commission and the China CDC (https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/app s/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd4029942346 7b48e9ecf6). Ting, Carin, Dzau, & Wong (2020) state that with the involvement of ICT, tracking a disease may not even require direct human involvement. Smart devices, or the “internet of things,” can aid in the passive recognition of potential epidemics before they become a threat. For years, Kinsa Health, a company which manufacturers smart ther- mometers, has published an online map of recorded body temperatures which has successfully predicted the onset of the seasonal flu ahead of the CDC’s own systems for the past two years. With over 90% of known coronavirus patients experiencing a fever, such an approach could the- oretically be adopted in order to anticipate new localized disease outbreaks and contain them before they grow to reach larger scales. Given the high rate of adoption for wearables such as Fitbit that promote personal fitness in the past five years, the health data which could identify and locate an outbreak in progress may already exist, being collected passively from millions of smartwatch users per day. Research is currently taking place to determine whether the data collected by these devices is sufficient to identify likely cases, possibly even before the onset of symptoms. Furthermore, Finally, internet users may gener- ate sufficient data over the course of their ordinary online activities to identify emergent outbreaks, and even previ- ously unknown symptoms of the disease, when analyzed in aggregate. Researchers at University College London have found a strong geographical correlation between Google searches for disease symptoms, such as fever, anos- mia, and shortness of breath, and community outbreaks of COVID-19. Most intriguingly, the surges in these search results predated the public identification of these locations as infection clusters, meaning the same passive analytical tools could be applied to anticipate outbreaks and take pre- ventative measures before they spiral into the public eye and out of control. In the Namibian environment, the current methods used to trace and monitor member of the public enter- ing enclosed public place is manual paper based system. The present study is investigating into the impact of a National COVID-19 Health contact tracing and monitor- ing system for Namibia and propose a solution to mitigate such challenges. 2 Research Problem In the Namibian health domain, there is the chal- lenge of public members visiting public places and their demographic information is captured manually which is yet another risk in the spreading of Covid-19. This is because the public members visiting any facility across the 14 regions of the country use one pen that is availed at each facility to write their details and as such this might put public members at risk of contracting Covid-19. This study proposed a monitoring and tracing surveil- lance system that can capture all the details of every public member visiting any public place that has an entrance and exit point’s countrywide. Public health surveillance, and by extension the systems used to enable surveillance, is central to the practice of modern public health. Pub- lic health surveillance contributes data and information to assess and characterise the burden and distribution of adverse health events, prioritise public health actions, monitor the impact of control measures, and identify emerging health conditions that may have a significant impact upon the population’s health. The core role of surveillance systems within public health practice, and
  • 3. An Investigation Into the Impacts of ICT in the Compacting of COVID-19: A Namibian Context 49 their concomitant capacity to greatly influence the effi- ciency and effectiveness of the public health system, has stimulated research to strengthen the scientific basis of public health surveillance. In 1970, only 7% of PubMed articles about surveillance (20/277) focused on methods, but that proportion rose to 60% by 2015 (7,400/12,400) (Groseclose & Buckeridge, 2017). 3 Aim and Research Question This study aims to investigate into the impact of a National COVID-19 Health contact tracing and monitoring system for Namibia. What is the impact of a National COVID-19 Health con- tact tracing and monitoring system for Namibia? 4 Delimitations of the Study The study only engaged only Covid-19 participants from the Ministry of health and social services in Namibia. The study only covered Khomas region and the unavailabil- ity of participants from the 13 regions of the country were excluded. 5 Research Method The study used a qualitative approach. A qualitative approach was used primarily because it enabled the study to engage the participants through zoom meeting to gather data qualitative data (Jackson, Drummond, & Camara, 2007). The qualitative research method was selected as a strategy. Meaning that qualitative data was collected. This is mainly because the qualitative type of data is expressive, and opinion from involving actors. The study employed a case study approach. This enables the researcher to under- stand and explore a single unit of analysis in this case the Ministry of health and social services. 6 Data Collection Method The study used the semi-structured interview to gather qualitative data through zoom meeting and Google link form. The semi-structured interview technique conducted has allowed flexibility during data collection, this included instant probing of participants answers that were obtained as this was done face to face (Adams, 2015). The semi- structured interview used has allowed the flexibility to rephrase and restructure the questions during the inter- views. The study used design science research to guide in the development of the prototype. 7 Participants/Sampling/Data Collection Strategy The study sample size was 30 participants and hence only (eighteen) (18) participants responded to the research ques- tions. The determinant factor of the study sample size was based on Dworkin, (2012), who articulated that in quali- tative studies, a target population of 30 is considered as sufficient representative sample and also considers satura- tion point at which additional data do not lead to any new emergent themes in qualitative studies. The study used purposive sampling because it enabled the researcher to rely on personal judgment when choosing members of the population to participate in this study (Ames, Glenton, & Lewin, 2019). 8 Data Analysis Method The study employed interpretive techniques to analyse qualitative data. Interpretive techniques were used to enable the researcher to organise, rearrange, categories, summarise and modelling qualitative data in a descriptive format. Interpretive research is a research paradigm that is based on the assumption that social reality is not singu- lar or objective, but is rather shaped by human experiences and social contexts (Elliot & Timulak, 2005). 9 Research Ethics As stated in the research objectives, and indicated in the research methods section, the research was carried out, using healthcare facilities for MoHSS. Due to the sensi- tive nature of healthcare data, the ethics of the institution was highly considered. The study abided to the ethics of the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS), and the specific healthcare facilities that were used. Also, the research ethics of the University of Stockholm, under which this study was conducted, was strictly adhered to throughout this research study. 10 Results A total of 30 participants engaged in the study and semi- structured questions were distributed to Covid-19 social workers through Google form link in Namibia of which 18 participants responded. Response Rate The study was conducted with the Covid-19 social workers from Ministry of health and social services in
  • 4. 50 Nikodemus Angula Figure 1. Gender response rate. Figure 2. Age group response rate. Namibia. A total of 18 participants responded to the semi- structured questions of which 38.9% represents male while female 61.1%. Figure 1 above represent the number of participants that were engaged in the study which means female were the majority to respond with 61.1% response rate while minor- ity were male with a response rate of 38.9%. The study distributed Google link form to different age group as represented on Figure 2 in a form of age group response rate in percentage. The age group between 18–25 response rate were 22.2%, age group between 26–35 response rate were 55.6%, age group between 36–45 response rate were 16.7% and the age group between 46 and above response rate was 10% represented in green colour to represent participants who fall in the age group between 46 and above. The above represent the gender, age group and number of participants who were engaged in the study of which female were 11 while male were 7 as depicted in Table 1. The current methods used to trace and monitor public members during Covid-19 period. The response rate from age group between 18–25 revealed that the current method used to trace and monitor public members who visited different place in Namibia revealed that thermo gun, thermometer, manual paper recording are some of the current methods used in Namibia to trace and monitor covid-19 patients. Table 1. Number of participants in each age group. Number of Age Participants in Each Gender Group Age Groups Female 18–25 11 Male 26–35 7 36–45 46 and Above Total participants 18 The response rate from the age group between 26–35 indicated that in Namibia there are no immediate and read- ily available centres to test people and thermometer, paper record and register book are used as a methods of tracing and monitoring Covid-19 patients. The response rate from the age group between 36–45 revealed that the current method used to trace and monitor people in Namibia is a digital thermometer used to check everyone’s temperature before entering any enclosed pub- lic place. The response rate from the age group between 46 and above indicated that a thermometer used by capturing everyone’s temperature who is entering any enclosed pub- lic place. The current challenges experienced by Ministry of health and social services when tracing and monitoring public members entering any enclosed public place. The response rate from age group between 18–25 revealed that data cannot be retrieved from previous visit such as daily, weekly and monthly since information is traced and monitored manually and also no enough thermometer. The response rate from the age group between 26–35 indicated that there is an unavailability of thermometer in the Namibian public facilities. The response rate from the age group between 36–45 pointed out that some people visiting enclosed public place do not write their correct demographic information on the manual paper based system in place at the moment. The participants further indicated that since the Ministry is using a manual paper based system information can eas- ily get lost. The response rate from the age group between 46 and above revealed that papers sometimes can be missed resulting in storage challenges. The participants further state that even though private companies have registers were public members are registered their demographic information this information is not necessary shared with the Ministry of health. However, most government offices have in place a Covid-19 screening area, the Ministry of health have also identified some health facilities as Covid-19 testing centers, in addition to that there are mobile teams that does active tracing in communities which report such information back to the head office
  • 5. An Investigation Into the Impacts of ICT in the Compacting of COVID-19: A Namibian Context 51 manually as data gathered is not reported back to the head office in real time. Why does the Ministry of health use a manual paper based system. The response rate from age group between 18–25 this is only method available at the moment. The response rate from the age group between 26–35 this is the only method available at the moment. The response rate from the age group between 36–45 this is the only available method at the moment. The response rate from the age group between 46 this is the only available method at the moment. Overall the present study discovered in both age groups 18–25, 26–35, 36–35, 36–45 and 46 and above the par- ticipants revealed that the Ministry of health and social services in Namibia use a manual paper based system to trace and monitor public members temperature when entering any enclosed public place. Recommendations The present study recommends the Ministry of health and social services in Namibia to develop a prototype applica- tion system that can trace and monitor the temperature for an individual that visits public places in Namibia 11 Data Collection and Analysis Qualitative data was collected through, sharing Google form link and zoom meeting interviews with the eighteen (18) Covid-19 social workers. Interpretive techniques were used to enable the researcher to organise, rearrange, cat- egories, summarise and modelling qualitative data in a descriptive statistics that enabled the study to present the data in a more meaningful way, which allowed simpler interpretation of the data. 12 Findings The study obtained the data by distributing Google form link to participants who were categorised according to their gender and age group such as 18–25, 26–35, 36–45 and 46 and above. In each age group were asked to respond responded to the following research questions which include what ere the participants demographic information?, what were the participant’s age groups?, what are the current methods used to trace and moni- tor members of the public temperature when visiting any enclosed public place in Namibia?, what are the current challenges encountered by the Ministry of health and social services by monitoring and tracing public member’s tem- perature when entering enclosed public palace? and the last question was if participants can provide other infor- mation related to the topic under discussion. The findings of the study revealed that a total of 18 par- ticipants responded to the semi-structured questions of which 38.9% represents male while female 61.1%. Besides, the study also. The study distributed Google link form to different age group as represented on the pie chart above in a form of age group response rate in percentage. The age group between 18–25 response rate were 22.2%, the age group between 26–35 response rate were 55.6%, the age group between 36–45 response rate were 16.7% and the age group between 46 and the above response rate was 10% represented in green colour to represent participants who fall in the age group between 46 and above. 13 Discussion In this concept, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Cloud Computing present great advantages by providing remote and efficient services (Premalatha, Keerthana, & Abarna, 2019). In India, many patients are dying because of heart attacks and the reason behind some of the deaths is that they are not getting timely and proper help. To give them timely and proper help first there is a need to continu- ously monitor the patients’ health. The fixed monitoring system can be used only when the patient is on the bed and this system is only available in hospitals. The sys- tem has also been developed for home use by patients that are not in a critical condition but need to be con- stantly or periodically monitored by a clinician or family member. In any critical condition, the SMS is sent to the doctor or any family member. The present study findings revealed that in both age groups 18–25, 26–35, 35–36, 36–45 and 46 and above the participants revealed that the Min- istry of health and social services in Namibia use a manual paper-based system to trace and monitor public members temperature when entering any enclosed public place and the age group between 18–25 response rate were 22.2%, age group between 26–35 response rate were 55.6%, age group between 36–45 response rate were 16.7% and the age group between 46 and above response rate was 10% represented in green colour to represent participants who fall in the age group between 46 and above. 14 Analysis of the Results The study analysed the data through the use interpre- tive techniques whereby qualitative data gathered through zoom meeting and Google link form were interpreted by rearranging, model the data, summarise and categorise
  • 6. 52 Nikodemus Angula which enabled the study to cleanse, transforming and modelling data to discover useful information, informing conclusions and support decision making. The study asked the following questions to the partici- pants and the participant answered that both age groups 18–25, 26–35, 35–36, 36–45 and 46 and above the partici- pants revealed that the Ministry of health and social ser- vices in Namibia use a manual paper-based system to trace and monitor public members temperature when entering any enclosed public place and the age group between 18– 25 response rate were 22.2%, age group between 26–35 response rate were 55.6%, age group between 36–45 response rate were 16.7% and the age group between 46 and above response rate was 10% represented in green colour to represent participants who fall in the age group between 46 and above. The qualitative data collected were proven as reli- able and credible simply because a saturation point was reached by all the research questions answered from dif- ferent participants in each gender and age groups their answers were the same which prove that the answers pro- vided by the participants were credible. 15 Future Research The study is recommending future researchers to consider all aspects that were not covered in this research. Besides, anything that was not included in this research should be considered in future studies. The study proposed future studies to develop a prototype application system that can trace and monitor the temperature for an individual that visits public places in Namibia. 16 Conclusion In the Namibian health domain, there is the chal- lenge of public members visiting public places and their demographic information is captured manually which is yet another risk in the spreading of Covid-19. The present study proposed a system that can trace and monitor the temperature for an individual that visits public places in Namibia, which includes the temperature for the present day, temperature for last month and also the temperature for the individual for the previous day (yesterday). References Adams, W. C. (2015). Conducting Semi-Structured Interviews. Hand- book of Practical Program Evaluation: Fourth Edition, (August 2015), 492–505. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119171386.ch19. Ames, H., Glenton, C., & Lewin, S. (2019). Purposive sampling in a qual- itative evidence synthesis: A worked example from a synthesis on parental perceptions of vaccination communication. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 19(1), 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12874 -019-0665-4. Chan, J. H. L., & Ma, C. C. (2020). Public health in the context of environment and housing. Primary Care Revisited: Interdisciplinary Perspectives for a New Era, (April), 295–310. https://doi.org/10.1 007/978-981-15-2521-6_18. Dworkin, S. L. (2012). Sample size policy for qualitative studies using in- depth interviews. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 41(6), 1319–1320. https: //doi.org/10.1007/s10508-012-0016-6. Elliott, R., & Timulak, L. (2005). Descriptive and interpretive approaches to qualitative research. In J. Miles & P. Gilbert (Eds.), A Handbook of Research Methods for Clinical and Health Psychology (pp. 147–159). Oxford University Press. Groseclose, S. L., & Buckeridge, D. L. (2017). Public Health Surveillance Systems: Recent Advances in Their Use and Evaluation, (December 2016), 1–23. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-publhealth-031816- 044348. Jackson, R. L., Drummond, D. K., & Camara, S. (2007). What is qualitative research? Qualitative Research Reports in Communication, 8(1), 21–28. https://doi.org/10.1080/17459430701617879. Premalatha, C., Keerthana, R. P., & Abarna, R. (2019). Human Health Monitoring System, 914–916. Ting, D. S. W., Carin, L., Dzau, V., & Wong, T. Y. (2020). Digital technology and COVID-19. Nature Medicine, 26(4), 459–461. https://doi.org/10 .1038/s41591-020-0824-5. WHO. (2020). Covid-19 Strategy Up Date, (April), 18. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/cov id-strategy-update-14april2020.pdf?sfvrsn=29da3ba0_19.