KUALA LUMPUR: The government will launch a smartphone application that will be able track the contacts of Covid-19 patients in a bid to tackle the outbreak.
Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said
Singapore has been regarded as one of the most successful countries in terms of contact tracing in the past few days, having launched a smartphone app called "Trace Together".
"When a positive case occurs, they can see the movement (of the individual) and warn others close to the patient to go for testing," he said during an online forum titled “Adapting to the Covid-19 Challenge” which was organised by his ministry today.
"And I can announce that Malaysia is also preparing such an application.”
On Friday, the Singapore government launched the app that identifies people who have been within two metres of Covid-19 patients for a duration of at least 30 minutes, using wireless Bluetooth technology.
Developed by the Government Technology Agency (GovTech) and the Singapore Health Ministry, the app is useful when infected people cannot recall who they have approached.
For this application to function, Bluetooth settings on the mobile phone must be turned on.
Meanwhile, data science expert Mahendhiran Sanggaran Nair of Monash University said the launch of this application in Malaysia should not concern Malaysians who are worried about privacy infringements, as long as it was strictly regulated.
"I think (it's important) to educate the public on how data is being used and also have a regulatory framework about who can see this and who can use it," he said.