Bluezone, a Bluetooth-based app that helps determine if a person has come in contact with a COVID-19 patient, has tracked 1,391 cases of people having close contact with an infected or suspected Covid-19 infection.
The use of Bluezone helps to detect early cases of people having close contact with a Covid-19 infected person (suspected of infection) who are asymptomatic - that is, do not show signs of disease, or are unaware they may have the disease. Photo: Trong Dat
The number of people downloading and using Bluezone has increased dramatically in the last three weeks, since the second Covid-19 outbreak in Vietnam. As of 11am, August 20, the Bluezone app had exceeded 20 million downloads, reported the Department of Information Technology under the Ministry of Information and Communications.
Da Nang, Hanoi, Quang Ninh, Ho Chi Minh City, and Binh Duong are the top five provinces and cities in the country with the highest percentage of Bluezone users.
Around 456,000 Bluezone users in the central city of Da Nang (40.4% of the population), the country’s Covid-19 epicenter, downloaded the app.
There were 2.4 million people (29.8%) in Hanoi, 371,000 people (28.1%) in Quang Ninh, 2.4 million people (26.7%) in HCM City and 398,000 people (23.4%) in Hai Duong.
The provinces of Ha Giang, Dien Bien, Bac Lieu, Son La and Tra Vinh had the lowest percentage of Bluezone users, with less than 8% of the population.
Based on mobile operators, Viettel has the highest percentage of Bluezone users, with 23.16% of the total subscribers, followed by MobiFone (22.45%), VinaPhone (18.98%) and Vietnamobile (7.41%).
To encourage subscribers to install Bluezone apps, the four carriers - Viettel, MobiFone, VinaPhone and Vietnamobile – have launched a promotion for free data to new Bluezone users. Prepaid and postpaid customers of Viettel, MobiFone, and VinaPhone, after successfully installing Bluezone application beginning on August 11, will be offered 5GB data for free. Vietnamobile offers up to 10GB of free data to new users of Bluezone.
The contract tracing app, developed by tech firm Bkav, uses Bluetooth Low Energy, a wireless personal area network technology, to link with smartphones within a two-meter distance.
If a user is positive for SARS-CoV-2 (known as person F0), health authorities can identify those who had close contact with that person (known as F1), and the system will alert them about the risk of infection.
They will be provided with instructions on contacting health authorities for assistance.
The app is completely confidential, anonymous, and transparent, as it only stores data on the user’s phone and does not transfer a user’s information or locations to the system.
If this app is deployed on a large scale enough, Bluezone will help save huge social resources and cost to fight Covid-19 epidemic in Vietnam, as well as help the economy resume operation under the new normal state.