NBI on track in using TraceTogether app to locate suspected COVID cases

Published May 4, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Jeffrey Damicog

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) remains on track in using Singapore’s TraceTogether mobile application in the contact tracing of persons suspected of having the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

NBI Deputy Director Ferdinand Lavin gave the assurance even after President Duterte previously announced the use of other contact tracing systems.

“Continuing yung coordination natin with DICT (Department of Information and Communications Technology) on the protocols (the NBI continues its coordination with the DICT concerning the protocols in the use of TraceTogether),” said the NBI spokesman on Monday.

Lavin pointed out that even after the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) ends this May 15, the NBI will still be able to use TraceTogether in contact tracing persons suspected to be with COVID-19.

“Kasama dito yung post COVID-situation. Ito naman will not end on May 15 (This includes the post-COVID situation. This will not end on May 15),” Lavin said.

The government has decided to extend the ECQ up to May 15 in high risk areas, while, placing medium and low risk areas under general community quarantine (GCQ).

The Singapore government started using the TraceTogether app back in March which it said was developed by SGUnited, GovTech, and the Ministry of Health.

“Using Bluetooth, TraceTogether identifies other nearby phones with the app installed,” the Singapore government said.

“It then tracks when you are in close proximity with these other persons, including timestamps,” it added.

“If the need arises, this information can then be used to identify close contacts based on the proximity and duration of an encounter between the two users,” it said.

Last week, the President announced the pilot testing of contract tracing systems in the Davao region and Paranaque City.

These systems are the “enhanced COVID-19 Information System,” FASSSTER, TanodCOVID, and StaySafe.ph.