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Vietnam applies technology to facilitate COVID-19 contact tracing

Jasmine Le Jasmine Le

lehang1997hanu@gmail.com

February 23, 2021 | 16:38

The government is asking for local authorities to use the made-in-Vietnam Bluezone app as a major solution to trace sources of infection instead of taking it only as a supporting measure.

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Bluezone app was developed by Vietnamese developers to facilitate contact tracing effort (Photo: Vietnamnet)

As reported by Vietnamnet, when Covid-19 broke out in some localities, the Prime Minister asked the National Steering Committee on Covid-19 Prevention and Control, ministries and branches, and provincial and municipal authorities to implement urgent measures to prevent and fight Covid-19, especially in epidemic stricken areas.

He said it was necessary to ask people to install the Bluezone app on their phones and follow the 5K principle - Khau trang (face mask)- Khu khuan (disinfection) - Khoang cach (distance) - Khong tu tap (no gathering) – Khai bao y te (health declaration).

The Government has emphasized the need to apply technology to effectively fight Covid-19.

The Ministry of Information and Communications has applied many informational measures to persuade agencies and units to use Bluezone in the fight against Covid-19, saying that the app, together with other medical declaration apps available in Vietnam, will form an ecosystem that helps to effectively trace the origins of infection.

To date, one year after the first Covid-19 outbreak in China, technology of tracing suspected infections remains the most effective measure to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

According to MIC’s Authority of Information Technology Application, as of mid-February this year, there had been more than 29 million installations of Bluezone. The number has increased by 5.5 million compared with late January, the time when a Covid-19 community-transmitted resurgence occurred.

Vietnam had not reported any Covid-19 case for around two months until the third outbreak. As a result, many Bluezone users uninstalled the app as they thought they no longer needed it.

However, as Covid-19 has reoccurred, it is urgent to re-install the app, because it quickly and effectively traces suspected Covid-19 cases.

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(Photo: Vietnamnet)

Bluezone has helped trace thousands of suspected infection cases. Experts estimate that Bluezone will offer the highest possible effect if 60 percent of Vietnamese adults use it. They think that it is necessary to require people to install and use Bluezone as a compulsory app at this time to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

In some localities, people think Bluezone is only a supporting measure to help trace suspected cases that is used together with traditional measures.

Agencies have complained that they are facing difficulties in tracing sources of infection as many patients remain uncooperative.

The reliance on traditional traceability measures not only causes a lot of efforts, money and time, but also creates holes in management, thus increasing the risk of the spread of the virus.

Experts believe that instead of using Bluezone as only a supportive measure, it should be used as a major solution.

Vietnam's biggest Covid-19 hotspot calling for wider use of Bluezone

Hai Duong People's Committee on February 7 issued official letter calling for organizations and individuals to download and install Bluzone on their smartphones as the pandemic is growing more complicated.

The Provincial People's Committee requested: Heads of departments, agencies, socio-political organizations to drastically instruct and force all cadres, civil servants, officials, employees to install the app on their personal smartphone. Each official must set an exemplary mirror for themselves and their loved ones.

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Hai Duong is the current biggest epicenter in Vietnam with 620 Covid-19 cases (Photo: V

The Committee also appoints supervisors to make records of entrance and exit activities at the headquarters, requires everyone to install and run Bluezone. Bluezone-installing instructions are shown on printed flyers or projected on digital banners.

The Provincial Youth Union proactively supports the health sector and local agencies and units to install and contact tracing by using Bluezone.

The Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism directs and guides restaurants, hotels, organizations and businesses to disseminate and recommend customers using their service to install the app. Printed and digital notices will be widely displayed at public places and inside elevators. Service providers must make sure to notify visitors of installing Bluezone.

Hai Duong is currently the biggest epicenter of Covid-19 in Vietnam. The first reinfection case in the province was reported in January 28. Since then, infections have spread to 13 cities and provinces, with Hai Duong alone accounting for 620. Its neighbor Quang Ninh reported 60, HCMC 36, Hanoi 35.
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Jasmine Le