By Stuart Bogere
KIU, Main Campus - Uganda has started manufacturing and assembling smartphones that have an infrared thermometer, in a move aimed at increasing the country’s capacity to test people for COVID-19, according to Chinese news site CGTN.
According to CGTN, Mukono-based Chinese firm ENGO Holdings Limited which is into assembling analogue phones, smartphones, and computer laptops, told Xinhua in an interview on Tuesday, August 17 that their new innovation is critical for businesses after over four months of lockdown.
The website quoted David Beecham Okwere, secretary of the chief executive director of ENGO Holdings Limited who said that the development of the device took a period of four months with support from the firm’s parent company in China.
He also said that the phone is currently going through an approval process by the country’s standards agency, Uganda National Bureau of Standards and preliminary tests have shown that the phone takes accurate temperatures without going through recalibration all the time.
Evelyn Anite, Uganda’s state minister for Investment, said that the development of the device is good news for Uganda and Africa especially at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is increasing.
“This is exciting news not only for Uganda but also for Africa. The most important function in this phone during this Coronavirus period is the thermometer gun,” Anite said.
The market price for the phone is about $100, according to Okwere and he appealed to the government to give the firm some concessions to make the device affordable because the price may be high for the rural people.
Anite said the government may consider giving tax exemptions or other incentives to the firm to lower the phone’s price.
Picture credit: Courtesy photo