IATF OKs automatic contact tracing through app; beta testing starts in May
Photo illustration shows a screenshot of the StaySafe.ph app.
Photo illustration by Philstar.com/Rico Alonzo

IATF OKs automatic contact tracing through app; beta testing starts in May

Alexis Romero (Philstar.com) - April 11, 2021 - 7:10pm

MANILA, Philippines — The government's pandemic task force has approved the use of automatic contact tracing through a smart messaging system as part of the efforts to address the surge in COVID-19 infections.

The measure, which was recommended by the National Economic and Development Authority, seeks to improve the use of StaySafe.PH, the government's officialsocial distancing, COVID-19 health-condition reporting, and contact tracing system.

The approval of the automatic contact tracing using smart messaging is contained in Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) Resolution No. 109 issued on Saturday.

"For this purpose, the IATF reaffirms its adoption of StaySafe.PH system as the official social distancing, COVID-19 health condition-reporting, and contact tracing system of the government," the resolution read.

The initial beta testing of the system, together with the proposed messaging of the smart messaging system, will be held in Pasig City on May 1. Beta testing with access to COVID-19 document repository system will also be conducted in the consortium of Antipolo and the cities of Pasig, Mandaluyong, and Valenzuela on the same day.

To ensure the interoperability and integration of all contact tracing programs, the IATF approved the immediate completion of the transfer of ownership of the COVID-19 document repository system to the Department of Health (DOH) and its immediate reintegration with the StaySafe.PH system and other local contact tracing systems and applications.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has been directed to lead the implementation of the system while the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has been tasked to lead the efforts to ensure its interoperability. The DOH, meanwhile, was directed to ensure the integration of the StaySafe.PH System with the COVID-19 document repository system.

"The DILG is further directed to immediately coordinate and convene with DICT and DOH to formulate the necessary action plan with specific timelines and targets," the resolution read.

The IATF has also ratified the tourism department-endorsed proposal to build free and temporary public walk-in and drive-thru vaccination centers in the vacant portion of the lots in the Nayong Pilipino property in Parañaque City.

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