The trial version of the itinerary register app is now available on the two most popular app stores, the Health Bureau (SSM) announced yesterday at the regular health press briefing.
The app, name Macau Health Code, is used in the same manner as a similar app in Hong Kong, which requires users to scan QR codes at specific venues upon arrival to register their footprints.
Concerns over data breach and privacy flaws have been raised several times. Members of the public fear that the data can be used to trace users’ itineraries and thus build a database of preferences similar to social media platforms.
In response, including the occasion yesterday, the SSM has reiterated that the data will only be stored on the users’ mobile devices. The data will only be uploaded to a central database for comparison purposes with the consent of the users.
This was assured by Leong Iek Hou, coordinator of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as public health doctor, during the event.
Echoing SSM director and pulmonologist Alvis Lo’s previous comment, the use of the app is, at least for the time being, voluntary. When questioned about that, Leong said, “Users of the app have the discretion to decide whether they want to use the itinerary register function of the app.” The health code function has also been copied to the app.
In the trial phase, SSM venues, the Macau Grand Prix and the Macau Food Festival will be the trial locations of the app. Despite the introduction of the app, the health code website will continue to be operational for an unspecific period of time.
To use the app, users should download it from compatible app stores. After the registration process, when they enter venues that require the scanning of QR codes, they can do so with their phones. Their appearance at the venue will be immediately stored on their devices for 28 days.
If a new Covid-19 patient is diagnosed, with their consent, the SSM “will help upload the itinerary data to the database, which will then identify venues visited by the patient as prone to risks,” Leong said.
Users can voluntarily download these data to their devices. An automatic cross-reference will be conducted to evaluate the risks exposed to the users. The health codes of the users with overlapping or similar visitations will be turned to yellow, barring them from most locations and movements.
Venue owners or operators will have their QR codes generated by the “competent authorities,” such as the Macao Government Tourism Office for bars and pubs, the Municipal Affairs Bureau for restaurants and the Health Bureau for clinics, but they will need to print the codes by themselves.
In addition to the itinerary register, the Transport Bureau (DSAT) also announced yesterday through a statement that all Macau Pass users must connect their card with their identity in order to enjoy discounted rides.
Card bearers must register their card on www.macaubusreg.com and tap their card against any of the above 130 Macau Pass console.
The director of the DSAT assured that no ID number will be required during the registration.
Post-jab Inflammatory Cardiomyopathy recorded
The private-owned Kiang Wu Hospital recorded a post Covid-19 vaccination Inflammatory Cardiomyopathy on November 15 before reporting the case to the Health Bureau, the Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Center (the Center) announced on Wednesday night.
Diagnosed with cardiac problem due to rising Cardiac troponin T level from a blood test, the 24-year-old patient finished his mRNA vaccination on November 12.
He started experiencing fever on November 13 and left the public Conde de São Januário Hospital after clinical consultation. He continued to experience fever on the next day and also developed chest pain. However, he did not seek medical attention on the second day.
The Center cited data from the World Health Organization (WHO) that draws a connection between Inflammatory Cardiomyopathy and the mRNA vaccine of Covid-19. The condition usually exists in young males within days after the second dose of the jab.
The Center reminds the public to seek medical attention immediately should acute and constant chest pain or tightness, breathing difficulty or palpitation develop after vaccination.
In addition, the Center discourages high-intensity exercise or workout in the first week after the mRNA vaccination.
This latest case of Inflammatory Cardiomyopathy, is being studied by the Covid-19 Vaccination Adverse Event following Immunization (AEFI) Evaluation Taskforce. AL