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Aug 05, 2020 / 13:51

Vietnamese people asked to install app for Covid-19 contact tracing

The app alerts users if they are at risk of infection and instructs them to contact health authorities.

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has called on people in Vietnam to install the Bluezone application on smartphones to trace those at risk of Covid-19 infection, protect themselves and their families from the novel coronavirus. 

  Vietnamese people are asked to install app for Covid-19 contact tracing. 

The prime minister assigned the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC)  to promptly implement the task, in coordination with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the People's Committees of localities.

Bluezone is a quick tracking application for people at risk of Covid-19 infection. It warns if users are in close contact with people with high risk of coronavirus transmission. 

The contract tracking app runs on iOS and Android, using Bluetooth Low Energy, a wireless personal area network technology that enables smartphones within 2 meters to communicate with each other. It will notify its users if they are within 2 meters of a Covid-19 patient and people suspected of catching the virus.

When there is a new case of Covid-19, health authorities will enter the patient’s information into a system that will send data to smartphones installed with Bluezone to track the patient’s history in the previous 14 days.

Encouraging people to install Bluezone

According to statistics from the Department for Computerization under MIC, there were 1,851,827 Bluezone downloads as of  August 2, an increase of 1.6 million compared to the past two weeks. Bluezone was also the most downloaded application on both App Store and Google Play in Vietnam.

A large community using Bluezone will help local authorities quickly pinpoint and identify people who are likely to be infected with Covid-19. As a result, the anti-pandemic work will be carried out accurately, effectively, economically avoiding missing infected cases. It also will help save disease prevention resources. The Bluezone application will help thoroughly identify cases of infection in the community.

Controlling close contacts is a way to prevent the outbreak of Covid-19.

Currently, there are three common technologies worldwide to localize close contact, which are positioning via BTS, GPS and Bluetooth connectivity.

Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung assessed Bluezone as the most effective tracking software. The software combined with other health declaration apps in operation in Vietnam will become an ecosystem with high traceability.

Minister Hung requested a nationwide campaign to install Bluezone, including foreigners, and it is expected that by August 8, most Vietnamese people will have the application installed in their smartphones.

The MIC targeted to reach 50 million domestic users installing Bluezone by August 10. This is the minimum number for Vietnam to control the disease. The ministry will deploy many different solutions, including daily messaging, texting on mobile phone signals and voice tones for subscribers, who have not installed the application.

The Department for Computerization is required to set up a dash board system so that the provinces will update the number of people, who installed Bluezone in their locality. 

Vietnamese telecom operators and social networks will also be mobilized to communicate Vietnamese users to install the app.