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Vietnam Deploys Healthcare And ICT Centres to Fight COVID-19

The national technology centre for COVID-19 prevention and control was recently established with nine core members who are healthcare and technology experts. The centre has two major tasks, the first is gathering and synthesising technology and knowledge resources. The second is applying big data technology and artificial intelligence to analyse, process, and forecast the pandemic situation.

To ensure a quick response to the complicated developments of the pandemic, the centre operates under a flexible model. The help team is available 24/7 to handle all situations related to problems requiring technology solutions and traceability. The centre will cooperate with leading experts in the healthcare and ICT sectors and top domestic technology firms, according to a press release.

Currently, the key members of the centre meet daily to review and overcome technical problems that arise during operations, as well as find new solutions to help optimise the efficiency of medical professional processes. According to the centre’s representative, after only a week of operation, the centre has integrated information systems to support pandemic prevention and control. The system is capable of supporting tens of thousands of people tracing infections at wards and communes and serving millions of users.

If localities strictly observe the Ministry of Health’s instructions on using health declaration apps and detecting close contacts and if working offices and entertainment places control the entry/exit with QR codes, the information systems will help trace and localise F0 and F1 cases within minutes.

Bac Giang is one of the country’s COVID-19 epicentres in the fourth outbreak in Vietnam. To deploy technological solutions uniformly to fight the virus, provincial authorities have established a technological centre. It is a focal management point that coordinates agencies, organisations, and businesses to participate in technical and technology-related support and cooperation.

The Ministry of Information and Communication recently proposed that Ho Chi Minh (HCMC) City set up a technology centre or a task force at the local information and communications department. It would connect closely with the national centre to promptly implement the technological measures to fight the pandemic. The Ministry warned that if localities develop their own apps, they will only have local information, whereas the national centre has data of the whole country, making forecasts more accurate.

In a directive issued last week, the HCMC Mayor, Nguyen Thanh Phong, assigned the Department of Information and Communications to set up a technology working group, which will connect with the national centre to work on ICT measures to prevent and control the pandemic. An official explained that the central technology task force is the convergence point, where the two sectors of health and information and communication co-chair the deployment of technology applications to fight COVID-19 nationwide.

The national centre will build applications and give technical guidance. It is in charge of ensuring the common operation of the systems. Local centres will deploy technological solutions in their localities and supervise the applications in operation. They will be in charge of exploiting and using technological solutions to combat the epidemic on a smaller scale.

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