The Manila Times : BBM: Unified QR code for contact tracing

News & Interviews
26 August 2021

By The Manila Times

WITH no less than the Department of Health confirming community transmission of a far more vicious coronavirus mutated strain referred to as Delta variant, former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. suggested the need to come up with a unified QR code if only to guarantee fast and effective contact tracing.

In a statement, Marcos said QR codes will make the job of the contact tracers fast, adding a singular QR Code in place guarantees efficiency in locating and establishing the required details of suspected infected persons.

"Dahil may community transmission na 'yung Delta variant, lalong dapat nating madaliin ang paghahanap sa mga contacts ng mga nagpositibo para agad ding madala sa mga ospital o isolation facilities kung may nahawaan man sila. Kung may national QR code, mapapadali ang paghahanap ng mga contact tracers (Since we have Delta already, the more we need to track down the contacts so we could bring them to hospitals or isolation rooms)," the former senator said.

"Sa mga malls, may kanya-kanyang QR codes 'yung iba't ibang mga tindahan sa loob pati sa ibang mga probinsiya, may mga QR codes din sila at nakita nila na mas napapadali ang contact tracing (A QR code is used in every mall, store and province, making it easy the contact tracing)," he added.

Further, Marcos said the impending issuance of the VaxCertPH by the Department of Information and Communications Technology could somehow be useful as it embarks on compliance with the requirements of the World Health Organization. He, however, finds it rather more logical to ramp up vaccination of the Filipinos, many of whom have yet even received the first dose.

Meanwhile, the former senator also urged the government to seriously consider the idea of providing special risk allowances (SRA) to contact tracers whom the former senator claimed are highly exposed to risk of contamination in view of their jobs - to locate people who may have been infected by those who had tested positive for the deadly virus.

"Ang mga contact tracers, gaya ng mga health care workers, ay para ding mga sundalo na lumalaban sa giyera. Ngunit sa kabila ng malaking risk na kinakaharap nila, sila ay overworked, underpaid at underequipped. Kaya ngayon panahon na naman para ayusin ang national budget para sa isang taon, sana magkaroon ng dagdag na allocation para mabigyan din ng SRA ang mga contact tracers. Huwag nating pabayaan ang ating frontliners laban sa Covid-19 dahil maaaring mag-collapse ang health care system ng bansa kapag na-overwhelm sila (Contact tracers are like health care workers, like soldiers fighting in a war. But despite the risk of their work, they are overworked, underpaid and underequipped. In this year's budget, we have to consider these allocations. Let's take care of our frontliners, health care against Covid-19. They might collapse when they are overwhelmed)," Marcos quipped.