September 25, 2020

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COVID-19 technology: Philippine provinces utilise tracking applications

The provincial government of Bataan is in the development stage of using innovative technologies to track cases recorded in the province.

As per a press release, the Governor revealed, during the opening of the Bataan General Hospital and Medical Centre (BGHMC) Annex, that a geo-time application is being developed in partnership with a private health foundation.

This tracking system is a mobile application wherein suspect, probable, and positive cases can be tracked using facial recognition, and patients can use it report to the command centre.

He said the application will be convenient especially for Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams as they can avoid physical contact while monitoring COVID-19 patients in their respective communities.

The application will be used for self-monitoring. Citizens can report how they feel, their temperature or other symptoms so local medical centres can manage them properly.

The governor also shared that in the Freeport Area of Bataan (FAB) in Mariveles town, the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan is exploring an innovative tracking application for efficient contact tracing procedures.

The app will be used to track FAB workers riding jeepneys including other commuters. When someone gets infected, they can quickly identify close contacts with the patient.

The BGHMC Chief has announced that the hospital and the Provincial Health Office will utilise a bed tracker in all hospitals in the province to determine how many beds are still available in the institution.

With this, during emergencies, ambulance vehicles will not transport the patient from one hospital to another only to find out that the hospital is already full, the release noted.

The Governor ensured the public that the provincial government is creating fresh and advanced ways to beat COVID-19, which can also be used after the pandemic.

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-Region Two has urged local government units (LGUs) to adapt the Tanod COVID application to trace symptomatic patients in the community.

According to a press release, a DOST representative explained the project is a combination of a technology application and system. Through it, an individual that reports of the symptoms of COVID-19 virus can easily seek assistance from the government.

The project is in partnership with telecommunication companies.

LGUs need to register a dedicated number to where a client may send their address and the symptoms they are experiencing for immediate action. Currently, only LGU Batanes and Tuguegarao City have registered in the system.

The representative said that the department is encouraging other LGUs to adapt as it will help determine the whereabouts of suspected COVID-19 patients; the early detection of infection will minimise further spread of the virus.

Users must text REG_ their exact address_ number of household members, then send to the number given by the LGU, then there will be instructions to follow in the reply.

Earlier this month, OpenGov reported the launch of the COVID KAYA application, which helps collect data and addresses information gaps relating to the country’s COVID-19 health situation.

It will assist frontline responders and others during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is not to be used, nor should be used for diagnosis or treatment.

COVID KAYA aims to support the global community and provide community-centric IT tools to help proactive response and decision-making by authorities, while also extending peer-to-peer support through local communities.