Iran now has over 10,000 cases of the potentially deadline coronavirus, reports revealed today.
As part of the country’s efforts to stem the spread of the virus, including closing schools and disinfecting mosques and public spaces, the Islamic Republic released an Android app called AC19 to help people self-diagnose rather than needlessly flooding hospitals, however the app was removed from Google’s Play store, according to a recent report.
There has been speculation that the app was being used by the Iranian government to trick citizens into installing it and then collecting personal data and geo-location information, reports ZDNet. Lukas Stefanko, an Android malware researcher at ESET was asked to review the app for any security issues. “Based on the analysis of the app’s APK, the app is not a malicious Trojan or spyware,” Stefanko told ZDNet.
Tasnim News Agency points out that the reason for the removal of the app by Google is down to Iranian developer accounts not being allowed on Google Play, according to public terms of service statements from Google.
The app, which “tries to reach a clinical decision by asking a few medical questions”, was released last week and is still available on other websites.
There have been reports that at least 73 Iranians have died due to consuming toxic alcohol amid misinformation that it can cure the virus.
To combat the crisis in the country, the Iranian government has requested $5 billion from the IMF’s $50 billion emergency funding set aside to fight the coronavirus, which has now been confirmed as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation.
Iran currently ranks third out of 116 countries most affected and with most deaths as a result of coronavirus, following China and Italy. Presently there are some 126,672 cases worldwide and 4,641 recorded fatalities, 68,305 have reportedly recovered.