Technology

Introducing the PC-Covid epidemic prevention application


The PC-Covid application synthesizes the existing features of anti-Covid applications such as NCOVI, Bluezone, VHD … and is redesigned for the most convenience for users.

Held in Hanoi on the afternoon of October 1, an online seminar to introduce technological solutions for the prevention and control of the Covid-19 epidemic was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Health, businesses and enterprises. Bkav, VNPT, Viettel; media agencies; together with representatives of the Department of Information and Communications, Health and Police of 63 provinces and cities.

One of the key contents of this seminar was information related to the national Covid-19 prevention application PC-Covid.

The PC-Covid application is now available on the Apple Store and CH Play app stores.

In the past 2 weeks, implementing the Prime Minister’s direction on unifying and developing a single epidemic prevention application, under the chairmanship of 3 ministries of Health, Public Security and Information & Communications, Center for Public Security National Covid-19 prevention technology has coordinated with businesses to urgently develop the official application of the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control.

Developed to serve the prevention and control of the Covid-19 epidemic, so that Vietnam can have a “new normal”, the PC-Covid application has key features such as: Issuance, management of personal and location QR codes, QR code scanning, Medical declaration, Domestic movement declaration, People’s reflection, Vaccination information, Testing information, Covid-19 card, Close Contact Tracing, Movement Density, Infection Trends, Risk Map…

The use of PC-Covid application is considered to effectively support people in daily activities, more convenient when participating in epidemic prevention.

Since September 30, the PC-Covid application has been available on the Apple Store and Google Play app stores. If the user has installed Bluezone, just update to version 4.0, the application will automatically convert to PC-Covid.

If you have never installed Bluezone on your phone, you need to download the PC-Covid application on the Apple Store (for iPhone users) and on CH Play (for Android phone users). In addition, users can install the application file at pccovid.gov.vn to use.

According to the National Center for Technology for Covid-19 Prevention and Control – the unit assigned to operate PC-Covid – the PC-Covid application only stores contact history data on the user’s device and does not collect location. . Contact history data is only used to serve health authorities with the consent of the user or in case the user is an infected or suspected case.

User’s data for analysis and tracing of infections and suspected cases will be stored and secured by Government agencies and used only for the purpose of helping people protect their health and fight epidemics. Absolutely do not use for commercial purposes, do not invade privacy.

Many other contents related to technology solutions to support disease prevention, including the PC-Covid application, will be presented by representatives of the Ministry of Health, Information & Communications, Public Security and relevant agencies and units. exchange and information at the discussion session this afternoon.

What does PC-Covid have?

The PC-Covid application is an application that summarizes the existing features of the applications (application) fight against Covid such as NCOVI, Bluezone, VHD, Covid-19 … and redesigned to be most convenient for users. Basically, PC-Covid is a collection of features: Health declaration; Reflect; Scan QR code; Close contact; Information on injections, tests…

Deputy Minister of Information and Communications introduced the PC-Covid application. Photo: Manh Hung

According to the National Center for Technology for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, in order for PC-Covid to quickly reach the people, the best way is to choose current applications to upgrade to. Bluezone is having the most installs, with 20 million users. The NCOVI app has lower installs, with nearly 10 million users. Therefore, PC-Covid has been agreed to replace Bluezone. Thus, those who are installing the Bluezone application when upgrading will also have PC-Covid. This helps to avoid unnecessary repetition of communication measures that could annoy people.

About Source code of PC-Covid, proximity management, QR code scanning components are upgrades from Bluezone. This is also the part Bluezone does well. Part Health declaration renewed according to the new form of the Ministry of Health (will be similar to Tokhaiyte.vn). Part Reflect completely renewed. Injection information then linked to vaccination background; and test information then connect to a support platform for taking samples and returning test results in an online electronic form…

It can be seen that, basically, the features that are running well in the apps will be redesigned to be as convenient as possible to put on PC-Covid.

However, evaluating PC-Covid based solely on the application’s source would be a major shortcoming. Behind it are backend systems, huge platforms, and complex medical business processes.

The PC-Covid App is just a small part that emerges. Underneath it are various large platforms. For example: Show only injection information then below it is Immunization Platform; just to display QR code scans, below that is the QR Code Supply and Management Platform behind. So, if an app is having higher downloads, it will also choose to replace and upgrade from there.

In order for PC-Covid to work well and meet the needs of all people, there must be the smooth operation of many platforms, the compliance with technology application by all levels of local authorities, establishments. health facilities, injection facilities, testing sites and the people themselves.

The representative affirmed that the PC-Covid application is not simply an upgrade of Bluezone. As introduced above, PC-Covid behind it is many large platforms, only 1 information displayed on it must also have a system with complex business processes. Also for this reason, when putting PC-Covid on the app stores, both Google and Apple carefully appraise and browse for a long time.

For other applications, the Center has specific plans.

First, we will notify all users about the PC-Covid app, about the plan to remove the app from the app store. After that, for a while, the app will stop working and transfer all data in accordance with PC-Covid. These apps will not immediately close and stop working because many people, many agencies are using them every day, it takes time for users to switch.

Currently, to support the deployment of technology platforms to prevent the Covid-19 epidemic, the Center has built and connected a network of personnel deployed in 63 provinces and cities across the country.

“Besides, we are currently testing and expect to soon put into operation a system to receive user comments for the PC-Covid application,” said a representative of the Center.

Why does PC-Covid require so many permissions?

Many users in Vietnam have downloaded or upgraded as soon as PC-Covid was available on the app stores. And some people reflect that the application requires a lot of access rights. Explaining this issue, the National Center for Technology for Covid-19 Prevention said: accessing application permissions only serves the requirements of epidemic prevention and in accordance with the application’s statement.

Introducing the PC-Covid epidemic prevention application
The PC-Covid app requires some permissions to use features.

According to the sharing from the development team, both Google and Apple have very strict permission control policies. The apps all publicly explain the exploitation of these permissions. Also, the access rights requests that occur with different operating systems depend on the policies of each operating system.

Specifically, when downloading and using, the PC-Covid application may ask users to grant permissions such as: Harnessing Bluetooth signals; Location access; Notification access (optimized to limit battery life by apps wanting to be in standby every day); Access the camera (to be able to scan the QR code)… In each operating system, access requests can be clustered together, leading to the above phenomenon.

For example, when a user installs the PC-Covid application on Android and activates Bluetooth, the device will ask for location permission, because of Google’s policy, when Bluetooth BLE is turned on, the device automatically asks for location permission. However, PC-Covid does not use that right.

The PC-Covid app only stores contact history data on the user’s device and does not collect location. Contact history data is only used to serve health authorities with the consent of the user or in case the user is an infected or suspected case.

As for the right to access videos, audios or files stored on the Android platform, the National Center for Technology for Covid-19 Prevention said: For users to be able to save QR code images to their phones and use when necessary, must have access to the photo archive. According to the policy of the Android operating system, this permission is tied to the right to access audio files, storage. Therefore, although not using video, audio data … but to be able to store QR codes in the photo vault, it is necessary to grant access rights according to the platform’s policy.

In particular, SMS access only occurs for Xiaomi phones. The reason is that this operating system has a policy of attaching SMS permissions to the image, audio and storage rights clusters.

The center also confirmed that any application requires these permissions like PC-Covid if it has a similar feature.

The development team is still continuing to update and improve features as well as fix technical problems that occur during data conversion and update. On September 30, there were more than 1.7 million queries even though the system was in the process of conversion, so there were technical errors. Currently, those problems have been gradually overcome.

Launching a platform that allows people to reflect on PC-Covid next week

Updating information on technology solutions for the prevention of Covid-19 epidemic, Mr. Do Lap Hien, Deputy Director of the National Center for Technology for Covid-19 Prevention and Control said: Since its establishment in June, Up to now, the Center has deployed a number of technology platforms. These platforms have gone through stages: Acknowledge requirements, build, perfect, smooth, and then generate requirements, further develop.

After many cycles, up to now, an epidemic prevention technology ecosystem has been formed, with 7 main platforms that close the medical professional cycle, including: medical declaration, reflection processing, control. Access control by QR code, support sampling and return test results, support tracing, isolation management, vaccination management.

In addition, there are other platforms such as: assisting in dispatching ambulances; support, help, mutual assistance; assess the level of distance compliance; support detection of illegal entry; dashboards, reports, statistics, data analysis…

In fact, in the fight against the Covid-19 epidemic for nearly 2 years, technology has made positive contributions, being one of the key measures to help fight the disease to soon bring Vietnam back to a normal state. usually new.

Discussing at the seminar on the afternoon of October 1, a representative of the Ministry of Information and Communications said: In deployment, the technology factor decides 20%, while the deployment organization model, the consensus on implementation accounts for 80% of the implementation. success.

In the 80% related to the implementation organization model, there is a very important part that is data. The technology team does not generate and invent data by itself; but data for epidemic prevention to users, from management agencies, and from ministries, branches and localities, is not a separate effort of a single ministry or industry. Therefore, it is necessary to clearly distinguish the errors, which are the errors of technology, where are the defects of the deployment organization model, where are the defects of the data. Only in this way, new issues will be resolved and handled by agencies and units.

Van Anh – Duy Vu

Coming soon a platform that allows people to reflect on PC-Covid

Coming soon a platform that allows people to reflect on PC-Covid

According to the representative of the Ministry of Information and Communications, in order for PC-Covid and technology platforms to come into deeper life, a tool to reflect and receive users’ feedback on this epidemic prevention application is being built and tested. .

Why are all QR code cards on PC-Covid app blue?

Why are all QR code cards on PC-Covid app blue?

This is the question of many users when those who have had 1 dose of vaccine, 2 doses of vaccine, even have not had any shots, all receive a green card on the PC-Covid application.

.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *