DOH-11 wants a unified QR code system for contact-tracing in Davao Region

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 6 November) – The provinces and cities in Region 11 should unify their QR code systems to improve the the area’s contact-tracing efforts for individuals possibly infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Dr. Cleo Fe Tabada, head of the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit of Department of Health (DOH)-Davao, said.

In a press briefing, Tabada urged local governments to use a synergized platform to establish a bigger contact-tracing system since people can now move freely around the region.

People in Region 11, like these jeepney passengers in Davao City, can now move more freely around the region after it was placed under a modified general community quarantine. MindaNews file photo by GG BUENO

“We’re hoping that the QR codes can be connected. I’m not techie, but it’s much better that way because it would be helpful to locate and to help out in contact-tracing… because we move around. We go from one province to the next. So, it would be nice if there’s a way to put all these together because I’m sure they have assets and if we can connect them, it would be helpful in the big tracing system.” she said.

The region comprises the provinces of Davao de Oro, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Occidental, Davao Oriental and Davao City.

DOH-Davao assistant regional director Lenny Joy Rivera said Davao del Norte and Davao del Sur have been utilizing the QR codes, which helped in the contact-tracing efforts.

Rivera encouraged the people to support the strategy to expedite the contact-tracing of first degree and second degree contacts of the confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Tabada said one of the challenges confronting the implementation of the system in Davao del Norte was the failure of several establishments to connect to it.

“This has been implemented in (Davao del) Norte and they are able to make use of it. However, there are challenges because there are establishments that are not yet connected to the system. It’s working well for some,” she said.

As of November 5, the DOH-Davao reported 6,090 cases with 1,696 active ones, 4,175 recoveries and 219 deaths. Of the total, 4,189 were reported in Davao City, 320 in Davao de Oro, 660 in Davao del Norte, 455 in Davao del Sur, 105 in Davao Occidental and 361 in Davao Oriental.

In Davao City, the mandatory enforcement of the Safe Davao QR (DQR) has been postponed from November 7 to November 23, to give registrants more time to secure their personal QR codes after the registration website crashed.

Mayor Sara Duterte said a deluge of registrants flooded the https://safedavaoqr.davaoct.com after she announced last Tuesday the supposed start of the mandatory enforcement of the DQR system this Saturday.

The registration for residents and non-city residents opened last October 31, leaving them with only one week to secure their DQR codes.

The registration website has been unavailable since Wednesday.

In a statement on Friday, the city government said it would announce the resumption of the registration once the DQR website was ready.

The DQR system has been implemented to hasten the contact-tracing system and prohibit non-essential movements of people within the city to curb the spread of COVID-19. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)

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