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Vietnam, India Bolster ICT Collaboration Amidst COVID-19

Image credit: Ministry of Information and Communications

Last week, the Indian Embassy in Hanoi coordinated with the Vietnamese Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) to host a webinar on information and communications technology (ICT) cooperation between India and Vietnam amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the webinar, Indian and Vietnamese experts shared opinions and the advantages and opportunities that the two nations have in the field of ICT. Digital transformation in Vietnam, technology solutions in the COVID-19 fight, cybersecurity, and 5G technology were discussed.

According to a press release, addressing the event, the Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Huy Dung said that the webinar was an important and timely event in the context that the pandemic continues to develop complicatedly, causing severe recession for many countries. He noted that the two countries have several ideas and many experiences to share and exchange with each other in ICT, given that both sides are exerting great efforts in ICT development and application.

He told participants that in its National Digital Transformation Strategy, Vietnam is aiming to raise the share of the digital economy in national GDP to 20% by 2025 and about 30% by 2030. The Indian Ambassador Pranay Verma stated that ICT will play an important role in post-pandemic economic recovery in both countries. Both India and Vietnam have very ambitious visions in developing the ICT sector, especially during the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Therefore, this is the right time for them to seek more opportunities to raise ICT capacity for deeper cooperation, he added.

Vietnam has been deploying several technology-based solutions to ensure pandemic protocols are being followed. For instance, last month, the country introduced an artificial intelligence application that issues warnings when facemasks are not being worn on public transport. As OpenGov Asia had reported, the computer vision app alerts authorities of passengers who are not wearing or improperly wearing masks. The app is connected to surveillance cameras on public transport vehicles and can access image data and automatically analyse it. It sends appropriate notifications to the server of the transport company if it detects someone not wearing a mask or wearing one incorrectly.

Further, 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 combat.

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 latest report from the Authority for Information Technology Application (AITA) shows 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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