Contact tracing app StaySafe launched

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    The National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 and Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) yesterday launched the StaySafe.PH contact tracing application, which aims to improve efforts on contact tracing, identification and isolation of persons who had been exposed or are infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

    StaySafe.PH is a community-driven contact tracing, health condition reporting and social distancing system that was developed through the partnership of the IATF-EID, NTF COVID-19 and Multisys Technologies Corporation.

    NTF contact tracing czar Mayor Benjamin Magalong said the use of StaySafe is secure and will be a big help in the collection of health data which is “big and crucial for the complex mapping and analytical tools that aid our own frontliners to contain the (COVID-19) virus”.

    “It is now up to us and to our LGUs to build up the data by using StaySafe,” said Magalong who encouraged local government units and the private sector to use the application.

    Multisys Technologies Corporation CEO David Almirol Jr. said the StaySafe.PH application is not a spy mechanism but a “surveillance for those who get sick.”

    “There’s no surveillance on the individual who is going to download StaySafe. Only the confirmed cases… Our intention is to save lives and saving lives is no longer (the responsibility) of a group or a government. It’s already our job, all of us,” he said.

    Under the system, the full name, birth date, address and emails are not required to be fully disclosed at the time of registration but the nickname, mobile number, age, and gender, as well as the signs and symptoms being experienced, if any, are required. Photos and company names are optional while location is only detected if the user enables or gives access to it.

    The user can also provide information about their family members, especially if they are experiencing symptoms.

    The systems only hold information about the health condition and basic medical information as reported by the app user which will then be used by the Department of Health to recommend actions if needed.

    Present during the launch were NTF Deputy Chief Implementer Vince Dizon, presidential spokesman Harry Roque and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno.