App blocks COVID-positive persons from entering offices, establishments in Davao

App blocks COVID-positive persons from entering offices, establishments in Davao

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 26 February) – The city government has launched the Safe Davao QR (DQR) mobile application, which is equipped with a new feature that notifies an individual that he or she is “blocked” from entering business establishments or private offices for testing positive of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

DQR mobile application, which is available for download via Google Play Store for Android and Apple App Store for iPhone and iPad users, allows individuals to scan the QR codes of business establishments and private offices upon entry for contact-tracing.

Davao City residents who do not have smartphones and printers at home queue at a print shop at the Centerpoint in Matina on November 4 to seek assistance in registering in the cityÕs contact-tracing system, the ÒSafe Davao QR.Ó The city government has required residents and visitors to enroll in the DQR to hasten contact-tracing. MindaNews photo by GG BUENO

Lemuel Ortonio, head of the city’s Human Resource Management Office, told MindaNews on Friday that this app feature could detect individuals who have been tagged by contact tracers as active COVID-19 cases in the system once they use it to scan the QR codes of the establishments.

This latest feature is also available to the phone scanners of business establishments and private offices for the purpose of “blocking” an individual, but his or her status will not be revealed, according to Ortonio.

“For those who have been tagged as positive, upon scanning by establishments, his status will not be shown, just a prompt that he is not allowed entry… As to whether they are free to move around, no. Technically, once positive, they are supposed to be in the isolation facility. This means that the tagging or blocking feature for positive cases is only an additional feature. DQR is mainly for contact-tracing,” he said.

He said the development team is continuously working on improving the “blocking system,” including the plan to block individuals who are supposed to be on a 14-day mandatory home quarantine.

“The blocking for those currently in quarantine is being worked out by our DQR web development team in coordination with our City Information and Technology Center,” he added.

Ortonio said the development team has also updated the information in the DQR system’s push notification, which now includes the place, date and time where the individuals have encountered an index case.

He said the contact tracing efforts have significantly improved with the full implementation of the DQR system.

“With the use of DQR, we have expanded even more the capability of our contact- tracing team in reaching out to more people who could have been in close contact with a positive case. It has been made easier now as the contact tracing team does not need to call one-by-one the casual contacts such as F2 and F3,” he said.

As of February 25, DOH-Davao reported 175 new cases, bringing the total to 19,812, with 1,657 active ones, 17,325 recoveries, and 830 deaths in the region.

Of the total, Davao City, which reported the highest COVID-19 incidence in Mindanao, tallied 12,999 cases, with 852 active ones, 11,519 recoveries, and 628 deaths.

Davao de Oro reported 1,133 cases, Davao del Norte 2,921, Davao del Sur 1,326, Davao Occidental 211, and Davao Oriental 1,222. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)