The government of Vietnam has launched two mobile applications for all citizens as well as international arrivals to declare their medical conditions as the country escalates measures to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) epidemic.
One of the two apps, NCOVI, is intended for the Vietnamese public to make voluntary health declaration while the other, Vietnam Health Declaration, targets arrivals from foreign countries who are mandated to declare their health condition before entering Vietnam.
Both apps were unveiled by the Ministry of Information and Communications on Monday afternoon and officially launched by the Vietnamese government on Tuesday morning.
The apps are available for Android devices on the Google Play Store and iOS devices on the App Store.
Speaking at the launch event, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam called on every member of the public to use the NCOVI app to make health declaration, calling it a “positive contribution” to the country’s anti-epidemic efforts.
“It’s a practical and meaningful action,” Dam said, noting that the universal health declaration is only encouraged and not mandatory for all citizens.
Any information collected by the apps is strictly used only for epidemic control and prevention and will not be misused for commercial purposes or in a way that violates residents’ privacy, Dam stressed.
“This is an important point that sets the NCOVI app apart from other applications,” he said.
Users can perform various functions through the app, including declaring personal risk factors, filling out the universal health declaration form, health tracking, reporting information on suspected cases, viewing Vietnam’s epidemic map, and reading official updates on the epidemic.
A person can also make health declaration on behalf of other family members who are not smartphone users, said Do Huy Dung, director of the Department of Computerization under the Ministry of Information and Communications.
As for the Vietnam Health Declaration app, only those who arrive in Vietnam from foreign countries are required to make health declaration through the app, he elaborated.
They can also fill out a declaration form in paper or electronically at https://suckhoetoandan.vn/ or https://tokhaiyte.vn/.
The novel coronavirus, which first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019, has infected over 114,000 and killed more than 4,000 globally, according to Ministry of Health statistics.
Vietnam has so far confirmed 34 infections, including 20 Vietnamese, two Chinese nationals, one Vietnamese American, nine British citizens, one Mexican, and one Irish national.
Sixteen of the patients had recovered and been discharged from the hospital by February 26.
Vietnam confirmed its 17th patient on Friday last week after the country had reported no new infection since February 13.
Over 100 people in Vietnam have been placed in quarantine for interacting with N. or with those who had close contact with her.