Abang Johari launches the "CovidTrace App witnessed by (from left) Dr Zaidi Razak, Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah (rear), Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing, Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian at Wisma Bapa Malaysia, Petra Jaya Kuching today. Photo: Ghazali Bujang

KUCHING: The Sarawak government is making leaps and bounds in terms of digital contact tracing initiatives.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg today launched two applications — COVIDTrace and Qmunity, aimed at enhancing the health authority’s ability to perform contact tracing.

The applications that will complement one another were developed by the Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) in collaboration with Sarawak Information Systems (SAINS) along with its other partners.

“COVIDTrace is to trace the people who are close contacts and within the vicinity of Covid-19 infection. The second application — Qmunity, is for the business community to record information of the people in case there is an infection.

“COVIDTrace is also used to trace imported Covid-19 cases to mitigate a second wave of infection. We don’t know whether they (the people arriving in Sarawak) are infected, and therefore (if anything happens), we can trace them.

“The data retrieved from the application is important as in the case of infected people, we can try to cut off the infection from spreading to others,” he told a press conference today.

Abang Johari also assured that the privacy aspect in terms of storing the people’s data were being taken care of, where the data can only be retrieved by the team maintaining the application along with Local Government ministry officials.

“Presently, the standard operating procedure (SOP) is that when you enter a shop, you fill in your personal information in a book, but some don’t want their phone number to be known.

“Instead, with Qmunity, they now only have to scan the QR code, once you have done so, the system will keep your data. Nobody would know your number. The data will be kept by the authorities to enable them to trace you if something happens,” he explained.