Ministry’s extraordinary measure will ensure the more efficient exchange of information within the Smart Quarantine project
The Ministry of Health has issued an extraordinary measure, the aim of which is to unify the nationwide mechanism of cooperation between all the regions, regional hygiene stations, the medical rescue service, testing centres and laboratories and the COVID-19 Central Management Team within the Smart Quarantine system. The measure came into effect on 20 April 2020.
The extraordinary measure primarily serves as a tool to ensure the coordination of information flows between the individual entities involved in testing for COVID-19 disease. Overall, this mechanism will positively contribute towards accelerating activities ensuring the testing of the population, and accelerating the evaluation of samples and the identification of infected people in the Czech population. Thanks to this, a detailed overview of the circulation of samples within the Smart Quarantine system, the number of samples collected by testing centres of all types, and their distribution to laboratories of all types will be ensured. The capacities and workloads of testing centres and laboratories will newly be tracked, and if these capacities are full, the sample will automatically be sent for evaluation to another laboratory. The entire system should thus lead to improving the efficacy of the anti-epidemic measures.
The aim of the Smart Quarantine project is to limit – to the highest possible degree – the spreading of coronavirus among people via the timely isolation of infected and threatened people. “This is a unique project, created through prompt cooperation among the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Defence, the Czech Army, the Integrated Rescue Services of the Czech Republic and the private sector. We have managed to prepare a project of a scope that would take months, maybe even years, to prepare under normal circumstances, within mere weeks,” Minister of Health Adam Vojtěch said when presenting the project.
Smart Quarantine involves a whole range of measures, procedures and tools to quickly identify infected people, collect samples and test those contacted by people with positive tests within the shortest possible time. It should significantly ease the workload on regional hygiene stations and improve the efficiency of the current sample collection system. “It is a meaningful and important project that is crucial for all of us. Smart Quarantine will replace the universal restrictive measures and speed up our return to normal life,” added the minister. At present, the Smart Quarantine project has been launched in five regions and will run throughout the Czech Republic from early May.
Smart Quarantine is complemented by the eRouška application, which people can download to their smartphones for free. This is a voluntary tool, but can help hygienists more easily and quickly find the people who have recently come into contact with infected people and who are at a high risk of infection. “Wearing face masks has become automatic for us, and I believe people could adapt just as easily to a mask in their mobile. They just have to download the app and let it run in the background,” said the minister about the app. 140,000 people have already downloaded the app in addition to the minister of health. “The more of us there are, the faster we will detect the virus and our lives will return to normal,” Minister Vojtěch added.
The full text of the extraordinary measure is available here.