“MDES” joins with public and private agencies, along with Thai digital startups to launch the #ThaiFightCOVID project, presenting 2 applications to collect data from travellers to Thailand in response to the spread of COVID-19

12 March 2020, Naree Samosorn Building, Government House – The Minister of Digital Economy and Society delivered a press release launching a public-private partnership project under the name #ThaiFightCOVID, presenting applications “AOT Airports” and “SydeKick for ThaiFightCOVID” to collect data and track travellers entering the Kingdom of Thailand. This is aimed to build confidence and reduce panic among citizens in response to the epidemic situation of the COVID-19 virus.

Mr. Buddhipongse Punnakanta, Minister of Digital Economy and Society (MDES) announced that today all airports in Thailand will be using the first application called "AOT Airports",that has been developed as a response measure against the epidemic of the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). Specifically designed to collect travelers’ data, the application will track all foreign tourists entering the Kingdom of Thailand and also Thai people returning from countries at risk in accordance to the announcement of the Ministry of Public Health regarding dangerously contagious areas outside Thailand for the disease caused by the Coronavirus 2019, or COVID-19, 2020.

The announcement has been made following the conclusion of the meeting to discuss ways to monitor the return of people from countries at risk from COVID-19 through the mobile networks. The meeting participants on March 11th,2020 included top executives from the Office of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), the Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Public Health, the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), the Immigration Bureau, Airports of Thailand Public Company Limited (AOT) and 5 mobile service providers, namely CAT Telecom Public Company Limited, TOT Public Company Limited, Advanced Wireless Network Company Limited, True Move H Universal Communication Company Limited and 

 

DTAC TriNet Company Limited.

The MDES Minister continued that the passengers who are customers of the mobile service providers and foreign tourists with roaming enabled can download the application from the QR code located at the COVID-19 screening points right away. As for the international tourists with no SIM card, a SIM card can be bought from a mobile service provider at screening points for 49 baht and can be used for 14 days. 

Afterwards, everyone is required to register by filling in personal information before passing through immigration. All information will be collected by the Department of Disease Controlfor the purpose of tracking as well as communicating information about the COVID-19 virus. If infection is found after entry to the country, the system will notify the NBTC and mobile service providers before efficiently and quickly tracking the coordinates of infected individuals as well as fellow travelers. It has also been confirmed that the provided information will be deleted from the system within 14 days. Such measures will help to build confidence and reduce panic among citizens in the fight against COVID-19.

Mr. Buddhipongse also added that in the case of discontinued quarantine centers, where travelers coming from countries at risk must go back to self-quarantine at their home and domicile, theMDES has worked with a depa-promoted digital startup namedArticulus to provide the application "SydeKick for ThaiFightCOVID" for tracking and surveillance of the people required to self-quarantine at their domiciles. Everyone must download the application for their identification before leaving theirquarantine center. The Bangkok Metropolitan Area and its 50 districts will have a QR code center, along with the 76 provinces nationwide. The registration system will help the government staff to monitor the daily behavior of at-risk groups, determining whether they aresocially responsible and detain themselves at home in line with the specified period. This will work alongside provincial public health officials, who will be in charge of close monitoring. Violators of the self-quarantine rule will be prosecuted according to the law. 

“The SydeKick for ThaiFightCOVID application is just one way to help monitor at-risk groups, who must self-quarantine at home. It is an application developed by a Thai startup, 

applying the concept of family safety, to track and monitor people at risk of infection. Application user’s data will also be kept confidential. In short, the whole approach is to build confidence and ease the worries of Thai society,” said the MDES Minister.

Additionally, the Minister also discussed ongoing cooperation with the Thai digital startup network, promoted and supported by depa, in the quest to find new digital services to help the Thai citizens deal with the COVID-19 virus, leading to safe and happy living.

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