Vietnam develops coronavirus contact tracing app

By Chau An   April 21, 2020 | 10:01 am GMT+7
Vietnam develops coronavirus contact tracing app
Traders wait to have their samples taken for Covid-19 testing at a wholesale market in Hanoi, April 18, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Vo Hai.

Bluezone, a Bluetooth-based app that helps determine if a person has come into contact with a Covid-19 patient, has got the Vietnamese government’s approval.

The contract tracing app was developed by technology firm Bkav and the Ministry of Information and Communications was briefed about it in mid-April.

The app uses Bluetooth Low Energy, a wireless personal area network technology, to link with smartphones within a two-meter distance. It will notify its users if they came within two meters of a Covid-19 patient in the past 14 days.

When there is a new case of Covid-19, health authorities will enter the patient's information into a system that will send that data to smartphones installed with Bluezone to track the patient’s history in the previous 14 days.

The app alerts users if they are at risk of infection and instructs them to contact health authorities.

"Bluezone is a new breakthrough step in using technology to prevent diseases," Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung said.

"The breakthrough is that the government does not have to collect people's information, and that information is stored on individuals’ phones. The application helps identify potential patients, avoid community transmission and prevent unnecessary mass quarantine.

"We are not the first country to use this solution, but our application is able to solve the basic errors in software in other countries."

The ministry and the Ministry of Health have backed the development of Bluezone and encourage people to use it to protect themselves.

Both believe the app will be effective in controlling an outbreak, especially as people gradually return to normal life soon.

The application will be available on the App Store and Google Play in the next few days.

Now users can download the app at bluezone.vn.

With Vietnam reporting no new Covid-19 cases for five days as of Tuesday, its infection tally has remained at 268. Of this, 215 have been discharged from hospital. There have been no deaths in the country.

 
 
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