LGUs urged to align contact tracing apps under ‘Stay Safe’

LGUs urged to align contact tracing apps under ‘Stay Safe’

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The Department of Interior and Local Government in Region 10 (DILG) called on local government units (LGUs) Thursday to align their contact tracing applications to StaySafe.Ph to strengthen the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) detection in the region.

DILG-10 Director Arnel Agabe said the alignment would enable agencies under the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to gain real-time data and improve the national government’s database on Covid-19 cases.

IATF tasked the DILG to implement the StaySafe.Ph contact tracing system when it was launched last year. The mobile application is meant to be the default application for all Filipinos, especially when traveling.

However, Agabe said that if local governments have already created a system, such as Cagayan de Oro City with its own Higala App QR Code, data can be streamlined in coordination with the DILG.

Agabe said a unified contact tracing application would make it easier for government authorities and medical experts to keep track of the cases all over the country and carry out “decisive actions to stem the rapid transmission of the virus.”

StaySafe.Ph app, the country’s official contact tracing, health condition reporting, and social distancing system, also targets to complement the efforts of more than 250,000 contact tracers in the country.

For LGUs that still do not have contact tracing applications, Agabe said they can use the StaySafe.Ph as “this will be the national government’s official digital contact tracing system so this is readily available for their use at no cost.”

Recently, the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force (RIATF) in Region 10 issued a resolution urging all LGUs in the region to adopt the StaySafe.Ph.

“We are aiming to reach up to third-degree; meaning, tracing should be done to include identifying close contacts of not only the Covid-19 positive patients but also individuals exposed by the suspect and probable cases,” Agabe said.

To better enforce the minimum public health standards, Agabe said they urged the LGUs not to limit penalties for violators but also to include community service.

Higala App dry run extended

Meanwhile, the local government has extended the Higala App dry run following technical difficulties reported by commercial establishments.

Under a city ordinance, the Higala App’s QR code system for contact tracing is supposed to be rolled out on April 6.

However, the local government has received feedback from the business sector and the public about several technical problems such as failure to register via the Higala App website and QR codes not being recognized by the Higala App scanners.

Mayor Oscar Moreno said the dry run will run until May 4. (PNA)

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