Contact tracing tools
Published by the Visayan Daily Star
Editor-in-Chief & President
Bureau Chief, Dumaguete
MAJA P. DELY
|CARLOS ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA
The Department of Science and Technology has developed a contact tracing app for coronavirus disease 2019 positive and suspected cases that is currently undergoing pilot testing in two DOST facilities in Metro Manila.
Dubbed SafePass, the development of the app is being done in collaboration with a tech startup company.
Science Secretary Fortunato dela Peña believes the contract tracing app will be a big help since more effective contact tracing is needed with the gradual shift to the “new normal” and more people going back to work.
SafePass is seen to be a contact tracing option for government agencies and is planned to be utilized in the entire DOST system. It is an all-digital, contact-free, authorizing, scheduling and contact tracing solution. According to Dela Peña, the system can be used to plan and manage the space capacity and people’s schedule to allow safe distancing during operating hours. It also allows the collection of information on COVID-19 symptoms, recent exposure to COVID patients, or travel.
It took more than 3 months for a technology solution to be developed, but this is a case of better late than never. Filipinos still need proper contact tracing tools because our government that failed to flatten the COVID-19 infection curve is now easing quarantine restrictions and allowing life to renormalize. If mass testing is not possible, then a technology based contact tracing system or tools should help us limit further infections and maybe even hold back a dreaded second wave.
Hopefully the DOST and its development team, as well as other developers in the country, can come up with the tools we need to make contact tracing easier so we can further protect ourselves in the new normal where the threat of COVID-19 is still as real as it was three months ago.*