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HCMC, Vietnam Uses Tech To Monitor People Under Home Quarantine

Image credit: Ministry of Information and Communications

To prevent overloading at centralised quarantine facilities, the Ministry of Health has allowed people categorised as F1 cases (having close contact with COVID-19 patients) to be under home quarantine. Previously, all people who were F1 cases were isolated at concentrated quarantine centres. According to the guidance of the Ministry of Health, F1 cases are eligible for home quarantine if they stay in separate houses such as villas and townhouses. The home quarantine period is 28 days.  As per information from a press release, to effectively monitor those who are under home quarantine, the HCM City Department of Information and Communications has proposed three technological solutions.

  • The Vietnam Health Declaration (VHD) System

This was developed by Viettel Group for people entering Vietnam to make medical declarations. Based on data collected from this application, the health system will provide medical assistance as quickly as possible. This system only uses smartphones. According to regulations, before entering Vietnam, people must prepare the necessary documents, install the Vietnam Health Declaration and Bluezone applications (Bluetooth and GPS must be turned on), and make a medical declaration. At the border gate, they have to make a medical declaration, undergo medical quarantine, receive a tracing bracelet, and move to a quarantine facility.

  • STAYHOME

This was developed by TMA Solutions. It is a smart bracelet that is connected with the smartphone of the people under quarantine. The bracelet will help monitor people under quarantine and provide their updated body temperature.

  • HCMCovidSafe

Developed by the Tech4Covid team from the HCM City University of Natural Sciences and HCM City University of Information Technology, it is a bracelet integrated with a SIM.

The technological solutions will be piloted under two phases. The first phase will be applied in District 7, Go Vap District, District 12, Tan Binh District, and the Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh City from July to August 2021. Phase 2 will start from August 2021 in all districts and Thu Duc City.

Vietnam has been deploying several technology-based solutions to ensure pandemic protocols are being followed. For instance, a group of scientists from the Medicine Faculty at the Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh (HCM) City unveiled a technological solution that combined the internet of things (IoT) with AI to concurrently manage people in quarantine sites and crowded places. Also, medical and delivery robots have been put into use at quarantine sites to replace health workers in transporting food, medicine, and essential goods and collecting waste, thus minimising direct contact. Many other organisations have also created a number of high-quality scientific and technological products such as testing kits and vaccines and commercialised them to help with the pandemic.

BKAV, a cybersecurity and software company, developed Bluezone- a contact tracing application. Bluezone is believed to be the most effective tracking solution in the fight against the virus. The Authority for Information Technology Application (AITA) claimed that as of May-end, there were 33.06 million Bluezone downloads, which meant an increase of 2.5 million Bluezone installations compared with April, when the fourth wave broke out. Of the 33 million Bluezone users, more than 20.58 million people have entered their mobile phone numbers on the app. As such, the number of people providing their phone numbers to state agencies had increased by 1 million.

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