ICT plays crucial role in fight against COVID-19

Information and communication technology (ICT) has played an important role in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Huy Dung said during the video talk “Ket Noi Trong Dai Dich” (Connections during the Pandemic) earlier this week.

“Technology is helping to connect hospitals and doctors with patients, and needy people with donors, so we can together repel the pandemic," he said.

Telehealth services were launched at the beginning of the pandemic for remote consultations in Vietnam. About 2,000 central hospitals are now connected to all district-level hospitals across the country.

Since the fourth wave of the pandemic, the telehealth system has opened new connections with COVID-19 treatment hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City, and with Binh Duong and Long An provinces for transfer of emergency cases among hospitals.

As for other IT uses, HCM City has piloted a search engine at website http://tracuuf0.medinet.org.vn/ to help families of COVID-19 patients look up information about their health status.

COVID-19 patients can also connect with medical staff on apps such as VOV Bacsi24, Giup toi! and Zalo Connect.

Vong Thanh Cuong, a representative of Giup toi!’s development staff, said it took only 30 seconds to connect doctors with people through the app. “That’s what people expect. When they need help, they need support from experts immediately to feel at ease.”

Nguyen Truong Nam, Deputy Director of the Information and Technology Department at the Ministry of Health, said the application of ICT in COVID-19 prevention and control has earned achievements in telemedicine, tracing, testing and vaccination.

It has also helped connect charity organisations with the needy and people affected by COVID-19.

The Vietnamese messaging application Zalo recently introduced a new feature Zalo Connect, which received more than 320,000 messages in 15 days.

Nam said that although the application of technology solutions had brought results, local authorities should send accurate instructions to people so that technology solutions are used more effectively.

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