Philippines launches tracking, emergency response app in fight vs. COVID-19

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 09 2020 09:37 PM

MANILA - An online and mobile application system to track people manifesting symptoms of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was launched Wednesday by its developer and the Philippine government's task force against the pandemic.

The National Task Force against COVID-19 said in a statement Thursday that StaySafe.ph is a website and a mobile application that "encourages people to report their health condition, as well as those of their family members."

"This system, as we have seen, can serve as [a] monitoring [for] of all communities. As we have seen, it could do segregation of persons under investigations, it could also do a lot of things," National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. said during the launch.

Manila-based developer Multisys created StaySafe.ph at no cost to the government.

"Willing po kaming makipagtulungan sa government. This is no longer a business. This is helping each other," Multisys founder and CEO David Almirol Jr. said.

Almirol said the system was designed to help authorities monitor the health condition of people and conduct a more efficient contact tracing.

StaySafe.ph also features a dashboard where users can be updated on COVID-19 cases even globally.

Frontline workers, local government units (LGUs) and private companies will be given access to the admin dashboard to help them keep track of the number of confirmed cases, suspected COVID-19 carriers, and location of patients, among other things.

They will also receive system alerts so they could immediately respond to severe COVID-19 cases, and provide direct online consultations to patients. 

The online platform will also allow private companies to identify employees who need help and provide them with assistance.

Users won't have to disclose sensitive information when registering in the StaySafe.ph website or mobile app.

"We are not asking for the birthdate because if you capture the birthdate, you are [violating] the data privacy. But we capture the age so we are not violating the data privacy," Almirol said.

During the registration process, users will be asked if they are feeling any of the COVID-19 symptoms. The platform will then generate a result indicating mild, moderate or severe, depending on the number of symptoms a user is experiencing.

The data will then be sent to a "heat map" in the platform’s admin dashboard, which will then show the areas and the number of people exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.

In expressing gratitude to Almirol for the online system, COVID-19 task force chief implementer Carlito Galvez encouraged others to help "in whatever way you can" in the country's "fight" against the pandemic.

As of Thursday, the Philippines recorded 4,076 COVID-19 cases, with 203 deaths and 124 recoveries.