Using high technology: A must to fight Covid-19
The local authorities of many cities and provinces, including Hanoi, Bac Ninh and Quang Ninh, have instructed people to apply technological solutions to fight the Covid-19 pandemic as recommended by MIC.
In Hanoi, people going to public places such as supermarkets, restaurants, parks, stations and hospitals are required to scan QR code. This gives a record of epidemiological landmarks that help trace people suspected of having Covid-19.
The recording of close contacts with Bluezone, a smartphone app, is also done at the same time.
In Bac Ninh, the provincial People’s Committee has instructed the Department of Information and Communications to urge people to install and make health declarations on the apps NCOVI, Bluezone or on tokhaiyte.vn.
In Lang Son, according to Ho Tien Thieu, Chair of Lang Son People’s Committee, the local Department of Information and Communications has created CovidMaps, a digital map system with real-time updated figures provided by the local health department.
However, experts have pointed out that while there are many IT apps serving pandemic prevention and control, the data are not well connected and shared by relevant agencies.
Regular data updating and sharing is very important.
To date, Vietnam has experienced four pandemic outbreaks. The Prime Minister has said that the emphasis needs to shift to more technology applications, more rapid testing, and a higher vaccination rate.
After people make declarations and update their personal information on the apps, the data must be handled centrally among connected apps. With such data, tracing of infected cases can be hastened.
|The local authorities of many cities and provinces, including Hanoi, Bac Ninh and Quang Ninh, have instructed people to apply technological solutions to fight the Covid-19 pandemic as recommended by MIC.|
The software needs to be written in a way so that it can be used by 63 provinces, 700 districts, tens of thousands of communes and residential quarters, and all medical workers.
To protect privacy, personal data should be erased after one month of storage.
The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) has released a document guiding the use of a set of solutions to prevent and trace infection cases in the community. Different solutions are required to be used at the same time.
The solutions include the installation of apps, and low-energy Bluetooth positioning technology.
Smartphones installed with the app can communicate with each other within a distance of two meters, and record close contacts, the time and the duration of contacts. Experts say that apps like Bluezone will only be effective if they are used by more than 60 percent of population.
A report of MIC showed that the number of downloads for Bluezone app is high, but the number of active accounts is not high.
NCOVI is a voluntary medical declaration management system developed by MIC, the Ministry of Health (MOH), VNPT (the Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group) and telecom carriers, which allows people to make medical declarations and quickly access information about Covid-19.
The Health Declaration app is specifically designed for foreign travelers to Vietnam. All people entering the Vietnamese territory must make declarations via this app.
Vietnam has recently put another app into use – scanning of QR Codes at destinations. If an individual is found positive for Covid-19, agencies will analyze the person's epidemiological landmarks to find close contacts.
The CovidMaps app provides epidemiological information that warns people against traveling to hot spots. People can check concentrated quarantine areas, medical isolation areas, and check-in points on the map.
The National Committee on Covid-19 Prevention and Control has asked concentrated quarantine areas to have enough cameras to supervise quarantined people. The cameras must connect with the monitoring system appointed by MOH.
Vietnam now has software to collect data on testing and information about people coming to hospitals, which can help discover F0 patients who visit hospitals.
MIC recently suggested using a dedicated bracelet to help supervise people under quarantine and after quarantine.
Authorities of Ho Chi Minh City and northern Hai Phong City are hastening actions to seal off the places related to the new COVID-19 patients who illegally entered Vietnam, and trace their contacts.
Some cities and provinces have seen 35-40 percent of their population downloading the Bluezone app. However, the number of active accounts is not high.