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Vietnam Proposes Using GPS Trackers to Monitor Incoming Arrivals in Quarantine

The Vietnam-made GPS bracelets would allow authorities to better manage those required to be in isolation at home or in central facilities.

The devices, called G Tracks, will alert authorities if a person leaves their quarantine area, including going to another floor, if they remove the device, or if their temperatures reach worrying levels, according to VnExpress.

G Tracks allow low-risk F2 individuals to isolate themselves at home as opposed to central facilities and thus reduce social costs and contamination risks. Roll-out for some new arrivals to Vietnam could begin as early as next week and there are proposed plans to apply the method to all quarantined individuals in the future.

Ginnovations, a local tech company based in Hanoi, had been developing the device, which comes in both GPS and Bluetooth versions, for two years, but said the research and development was only completed in the last three weeks as they added features for specific isolation use beyond tracking steps and calories. It is slated to retail for US$35, though the firm revealed plans to donate 2,000 devices to epidemic control efforts. 

Other countries have used similar technology to monitor individuals in quarantine, including South Korea and Hong Kong. Taiwan, for example, collaborates with telecommunication service providers to check the phone signals of quarantined citizens; officials will call twice a day and whenever the phone signal appears to be off for more than 15 minutes.

During the last COVID-19 wave which began five weeks ago, Vietnam has recorded as many as 4,549 local infections in 37 of its 63 cities and provinces. Saigon authorities have announced plans to test tens of thousands of the city's residents and have ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses and gatherings of more than 10 people for two weeks.

[Photo via Bao Moi

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