Smartphone Contact Tracing Program Up In Cotabato City

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To keep the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in check, the city government here is developing a contact tracing program through the use of smartphones.

Dr. Danda Juanday, city administrator, said the online application is set for testing next week.

“It is a Covid-19 contact tracing program being developed by homegrown computer technology experts,” Juanday said in an interview with reporters on Thursday.

He said the program involved entering the online link www.cotabatocity.ph/registration where a city resident would fill up blanks for basic personal data such as name, age, address, mobile phone number, and photo.

Upon registration, the program link would give the registrant a quick response (QR) code in return within the next 48 hours.

“All you have to do is save the QR code through a screenshot and you can enter any establishment in the city without the hassle of filling up forms upon entrance as there would be QR code scanners,” Juanday said.

Juanday added that through the application, the city government could retain a database of all its residents.

He added that non-city residents doing business here should also register to the program as it would soon be compulsory for everyone.

“This is just for a start, we are still perfecting the operation of the program,” he said, adding that visitors to the city would also soon be required to use the program.

Juanday said the only flaw being addressed by the program developers are those city residents not using smartphones.

“Let us admit it, there are still many locals who cannot afford or not comfortable in using smartphones and prefer the keypad phones instead,” he said.

Due to the foreseen problem, Juanday said the local government is targeting at least 50 percent of the city population to initially register and use the program.

The city has more than 300,000 residents based on the 2015 population census.

“We will try it first on the city government employees then on workers of various regional government offices here before presenting it for use to the public,” he said.

The city government has given the contact tracing programmers until August 10 to make the application work. (PNA)

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