Tacloban City to launch COVID-19 contact tracing app

Jazmin Bonifacio

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City Administrator Aldrin Quebec says the Tacloban COVID-19 SCAN System will not only help the city government, but also commercial establishments in identifying people who are potentially exposed to the new virus

CONTACT TRACING APP. Tacloban City will launch its COVID-19 SCAN system on July 16, 2020. Screenshot from Tacloban City Information Office Facebook page

LEYTE, Philippines – Tacloban City will launch on July 16 its smartphone app that will track down and alert contacts of people who got infected with the coronavirus.

The Tacloban Covid-19 Surveillance, Contact Tracing, Analysis and Networking (SCAN) System is part of the Tacloban Safe City Program.

Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez signed Executive Order No. 2020-07-026 on July 1, ordering the Local Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit of the City Health Office, in coordination with the Management Information System Division and the Business Permits and Licensing Office, to institutionalize a digital COVID-19 SCAN system.

City Administrator Aldrin Quebec said that the digital contact tracing system will not only help the city government, but also commercial establishments in identifying people who are potentially exposed to COVID-19.

“It is imperative that there will be real-time information about the customers, clients, and other individuals who have entered particular establishments in the city at a given date and time,” Quebec told Rappler.

For this purpose, all government and non-government offices, business establishments, and industries in the city are encouraged to download and install the Tacloban Safe City app in their smart phone, tablet, or mobile device that has a camera that can read or scan a QR code.  

The device will be placed at the main entrance of a building  or establishment for use of a security guard or any authorized personnel to regulate the entry of customers, clients, and other people.

The app will scan the QR codes provided to registered customers, clients, and others who enter business establishments, to verify their identity. They may also be required to present a valid government-issued ID.

Upon scanning, the application will either give a prompt that the individual is cleared to enter, or sound an alarm when a COVID-19 patient or probable or suspected coronavirus case is at the entrance, in which case, they will be denied entry.

After scanning, the application will log all entries of individuals, including the QR Code, ID number, and the corresponding date and time of entry in a particular building or establishment.

Any individual in Tacloban City,  whether permanent or temporary residents, transients, and tourists can register for the Tacloban SCAN System, via the Tacloban Safe City Application by downloading the application for free at https://safecity.tacloban.gov.ph/ and following the steps for registration.

After registration, the registrant will be given a unique QR code through the mobile device used for registration.  The QR code can be scanned/read with an electronic scanner as identification prior to entry at every participating office, business establishment, or industry.

Residents who don’t own mobile phones can fill out a registration form at their respective barangay halls, which will issue them  unique Tacloban Safe City SCAN Cards with a QR Code.

Non-residents who are entering the city may fill out a registration form at the border control points. After registration, the registrant will be given a Tacloban Safe City SCAN card with a QR code.

The Tacloban Safe City SCAN card is non-transferrable.

Quebec also clarified that the use of the app is not mandatory. 

The city government also assured that the right to privacy would be upheld in conducting the SCAN system, which will be in place while the country remains in a state of public health emergency

Tacloban City has 58 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Wednesday, July 8. Fifty-seven have already recovered.  – Rappler.com

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