Bluezone app, a domestically developed contact-tracing mobile app to identify and alert people who have interacted with COVID-19 patients. — Photo for illustration. VNA/VNS Photo
Professor Trần Quý Tường, director general of the Agency of Information Technology at the Ministry of Health, talks about the application of information technology in COVID-19 prevention work.
How can information technology be used to trace COVID-19 infection cases?
Early detection and quick tracing of F0, F1 and F2 cases to control the spread of the virus is critical.
Medical staff and other forces can trace the areas with few cases. But there is not enough manpower to carry out direct tracing when the number of cases increases. Technology is the optimal choice.
Việt Nam has launched the Bluezone tracing app and medical declaration management information system to help in the prevention of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Bluezone app will warn if smartphone users have been in close contact with COVID-19 cases and suspected cases.
The medical declaration management information system includes people's medical declaration information and travel history.
The Ministry of Health has issued a decision on guidelines for the use of electronic applications to effectively serve the prevention and control of the pandemic.
Smartphone users need to install and use apps. The more people install the app, the more effective the protection will be.
The tracing of infection cases and contacts will be very quick if people and agencies strictly follow the health ministry's guidance.
Can you tell us how the implementation of IT is being implemented by people in hot spots such as Bắc Ninh and Bắc Giang provinces?
In Bắc Ninh Province, the Department of Information and Communications has advised the province to set up an information analysis team to analyse data sources, propose tracing, testing and assess the risk of infection and to quickly and promptly implement the instructions of the Provincial Steering Committee.
The department also mobilised local people to install and use e-health declaration apps and instructed agencies and People's Committees to create and scan QR codes and medical declarations at offices and public areas.
As of May 31, Bắc Ninh province had 578,143 people installing and using the Bluezone app, accounting for 42.24 per cent of the province's population, ranking second among 63 provinces and cities nationwide.
The province has 10,519 establishments that generate QR codes from the health declaration system.
The Management Board of Industrial Parks has coordinated with the Department of Information and Communication to develop information management software for all workers in industrial parks.
Bắc Giang province had 480,306 people using the Bluezone app as of May 31, accounting for 26.63 per cent of the province's population, ranking ninth out of 63 provinces and cities of the country.
With the support of the Information Technology Department, Bắc Giang province established an electronic monitoring and tracing team with 15 members and they are trained to exploit data from the system.
The team has made 3,976 phone calls to people who had symptoms or epidemiological factors to guide them on appropriate prevention measures or transfer information to commune and district levels for handling.
How does the health sector deal with medical declarations with epidemiological factors?
For the cases with symptoms of fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or epidemiological factors such as contacts with infection cases or returning from COVID-19 infected areas, medical staff will call people directly to verify information and give appropriate instructions. Commune health workers will come to the area to handle the cases if needed.
For some hot spots such as Bắc Ninh and Bắc Giang provinces, the information teams are established including staff from the Department of Health, the Provincial Center for Disease Control and the Department of Information and Communication.
One of the team's main tasks is to verify information and reports of people and tranfer to commune and district levels for handling. — VNS