PH Red Cross unveils contact tracing app; Smart users get free access

The Philippine Red Cross has launched a new mobile app called RC143, which is designed to help health authorities in the contact tracing of Covid-19 cases.

The RC143 allows contact tracing using the geo-location and sensory capabilities of smartphones. The app will also enable its users to get information on their likely levels of exposure to the virus.

With the user’s consent, the PRC app will track his movements using the location facility of his mobile phone. This information will go to a database through which the PRC will be able to determine which individuals have come into contact with Covid-positive cases.

“The app will be a great force-multiplier for the Philippine Red Cross’s first responders in our active monitoring and efforts to assist affected persons and many more people and communities at risk,” said Philippine Red Cross secretary general Elizabeth Zavalla.

To provide assistance, PLDT-owned operator Smart Communications is enabling its subscribers to download and use the mobile app free of data charges.

“Data is an important weapon in the fight against Covid-19. RC143 can gather information that will help individuals protect themselves and also help health authorities take more effective action to control and defeat this pandemic. This is why we at PLDT and Smart are supporting the Philippine Red Cross in this initiative,” said Alfredo S. Panlilio, president and CEO of Smart Communications and chief revenue officer of PLDT.

An SMS broadcasting service has also been provided for free to the Philippine Red Cross in their information dissemination programs to fight the pandemic. Smart Messaging Suite powered by Soprano, will provide Red Cross 100,000 free text messages per month to strengthen their messaging capabilities to their constituents and other organizations to augment their communications efforts.

“We have high hopes for RC143, in the hands of many Filipinos, not only to contain the spread of the virus but to actually safeguard us in our certain but slow and cautious return to normal social and economic activity,” said Zavalla.

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