DOTr to require all airline passengers to download contact tracing app

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The government will be requiring airport passengers next month to download Traze, a QR code-based app jointly developed by local firm Cosmotech Philippines and the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), which will be pilot-tested in four airports to strengthen the government’s fight against Covid-19.

In a statement, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said that the contact tracing app will be pilot-tested this week at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), Clark Internal Airport (CRK), Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIAA), and Davao International Airport (DIA).

Other airports will follow soon and the use of Traze will be made mandatory for all air passengers in all airports nationwide by the end of November this year.

The DOTr would subsequently roll out the contract tracing app across all modes of transportation to support the government’s effort in containing the disease by immediately identifying individuals who had contact with Covid-19-positive patients.

All departing and arriving passengers at the four airports will be required to download the app on their mobile phones and register an account before proceeding to the airport.

Passengers who do not have mobile phones or any other mobile gadget may go to the Malasakit Helpdesk at the airport for registration assistance to get a unique QR code or ask a family member to register them with the app.  The QR code can be used at any DOTr office nationwide.

By using a QR code, Traze speeds up the tedious manual contact tracing process to just a few minutes, according to the DOTr.

Passengers will scan the QR codes at the designated areas of the airport. Once a Covid-19 positive patient is identified, an in-app notification will be sent to individuals who may have had contact with the patient so they would immediately follow the self-isolation procedure and other health sanitation precautionary measures.

The government said Traze is compliant with Republic Act (RA) 1017 or the Data Privacy Act (DPA) as it allows anonymous registration and optional submission of personal information. It is easy to use and does not require Bluetooth or GPS to work.

With a nationwide coverage, Traze has complete modules to trace individuals, establishments, logistics, and transportation systems such as trains, vessels, airplanes, jeepneys, taxis, PUVs, and even tricycles.

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