Testing of a new system to contain the spread of the coronavirus – so-called “smart quarantine” – began on Monday in the South Moravian Region. To identify and isolate people infected with the new coronavirus, data from mobile operators and banks (via payments with bank cards) will be provided to the Regional Hygiene Authority to track their movements and people they have been in contact with, as long as those infected have given their consent to being tracked. After Easter, the smart quarantine system could replace the national state of emergency. Photo: KK / For illustrative purposes.

Brno / Czech Rep., Mar 30 (BD) – “During this week, the individual measures of the system aimed at identifying and isolating those potentially infected with the new coronavirus COVID-19 will be gradually put into practice by the Regional Hygiene Authority and the whole region. I consider the fact that the South Moravian Region was chosen for the pilot of this project as a mark of appreciation for the work of our Regional Hygiene Authority, and the high quality and exemplary cooperation of all elements of the South Moravian Integrated Rescue System,” said Governor Bohumil Šimek.

Smart Quarantine is a set of several separate measures that together aim to isolate people at risk of coronavirus infection as quickly as possible, including rapid testing of patients, accurate and comprehensive tracing of their possible contacts in previous days, rapid quarantine of potentially infected persons, disinfection of exposed spots (so called hot spots), controlled testing of quarantined people, and medical assistance appropriate to the patient’s condition.

Within Three Days, All Contacts of those Infected Will be Traced, and Hot Spots Disinfected

Smart quarantine will track the movements of the infected individual over the previous five days. Those who test positive will then describe who they met and where to the Regional Hygiene Authority, and a map will be drawn from this information. The implementation will be supervised by Roman Prymula, Deputy Minister of Health, Czech TV reported on Monday.

Within three days, everyone who was in contact with the infected person will be contacted. “They will be ordered into a short-term quarantine and the army will arrive within a few hours,” explained Prymula, as quoted on the Czech news website Seznam.cz. A mobile medical team from the Czech Army will take samples from these contacts to be tested for COVID-19. Due to the complexity of the project implementation, the individual measures will be gradually introduced in the region throughout this week. The plan is to fine-tune the system this week in South Moravia so it is fully ready for implementation across the Czech Republic in the future.

On the orders of the government, all data must be permanently deleted after the research has been completed, according to Ondřej Tomáš, one of the system developers. Only epidemiologists will be allowed to access the data.

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