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Ministry launches two virus aid apps

Ministry launches two virus aid apps

The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications has put in motion two phone applications to further assist in the fight against the spread of Covid-19. The applications enable callers to phone 1250 free of charge in addition to calling 115 to acquire reliable information on whether they might have the virus.

The technology was prepared by a team of researchers and the National Institute of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Communication Technology under the ministry.

Its minister, Chea Vandeth, announced on Monday the implementation of the two phone applications.

In a Facebook post, the ministry said the applications included OpenTraceKH, which is used to look for individuals who had previously come into contact with those who tested positive for Covid-19.

The Bluetooth-based programme can track down relationships in communities and create a record of individuals who had previously come into contact with each other.

“Another phone application is dubbed ‘Self Quarantine’ and is meant to identify and report the medical conditions of individuals who are subject to quarantine, the Facebook post said.

The director-general of the General Department of Posts and Telecommunications, Tol Gnak, said on Wednesday that the programmes were established to further aid the Ministry of Health’s 115 hotline, which has received a greater number of calls since the virus broke out.

“Those who suspect themselves of having [Covid-19] can call the new number – 1250. There are a lot of questions within the 14 days of quarantine. Who has come into contact with us and what are the symptoms? If they make repeated calls, we can trace them and the locations of the callers,” Gnak said.

Because the system was just established and put into tentative use, he confirmed that the ministry is collaborating with local phone companies.

If a caller suspects himself or herself of having Covid-19, the system enables relevant officials including the Ministry of Health to intervene and arrive at the location immediately and locate other people via Bluetooth.

“The Cellcard and Smart systems have been put in motion and we are speeding them up with help from some other operators. When the two applications are operating smoothly, we will hold a formal press conference highlighting how to use them,” he said.

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