Mexico City will track covid-19 cases through a QR code

(CNN Español) — The authorities of Mexico City are adopting a series of measures to try to contain the rebound in covid-19 cases.

The warning sign, as they have recognized, was the increase in hospitalizations during the last two weeks.

The epidemiological risk traffic light in the country’s capital remains orange, which allows, among other things, that non-essential activities operate with a maximum capacity of 30%.

As of November 23, the authorities reported that these places (offices, restaurants, gyms, churches, museums, theaters and cinemas, among others) must be registered and have a QR code so that each user can scan it when entering.

The only exceptions are minors and older adults who do not have a cell phone.

Credit: Hector Vivas / Getty Images

According to the general director of the Digital Government of Mexico City, Eduardo Clark, what they want is to have an instrument to more efficiently track the number of people who could be in contact with someone infected.

“Together with the Mexico City government’s covid-19 data system, in which all tests are recorded, we are going to check whether any positive case entered one of the establishments in the last 14 days. In this way, we will be able to notify all the people who entered at similar times, without violating any personal data, so that they know that they were at risk of contagion, ”he said. After that, he explained that it will be evaluated if the person has symptoms and, in that case, they will be referred to a hospital or a module for a test.

The initiative has raised doubts among some residents about the way in which personal data will be used.

However, Clark clarified that there will be no real-time monitoring. “We will only use the person’s cell phone number, the code of the place they enter and the time they enter. You should not link any information such as your name, your sex, your morbidity or if you are a patient at risk, “he said.

The use of QR codes, he noted, has been experimented with in various countries around the world such as China, Singapore, Taiwan and Korea.

“The Chinese government identifies each person by cell phone, with their personal data. And he knows his status, if he is awaiting test results or is positive, “he said. In addition, he added that in China they must scan the QR code in various places throughout the day, such as in the subway car or in a self-service store.

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But in the case of Mexico City, he said, the logic is the other way around. “Instead of collecting information from each person, we collect income to one place and only match it against positive cases.”

Since the pandemic began, Mexico City has reported 181,913 cases of covid-19 and 16,596 deaths, according to the figures reported this Thursday by the authorities.

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