Tracing other infectious diseases

Tuesday 21 July 2020 | Written by Rashneel Kumar | Published in Health


Tracing other infectious diseases
Brie Zeman with her CookSafe card. 20061806

The CookSafe app will not only be used to trace Covid, but also other infectious diseases.

The app, a joint initiative between health ministry Te Marae Ora and the Private Sector Taskforce, is the preferred choice for Covid-19 contact tracing in Cook Islands.

Taskforce chair Fletcher Melvin says CookSafe is now being administered by Te Marae Ora under a mandate “to do contact tracing for infectious diseases, not just Covid-19”.

The Taskforce was instrumental in the logistics, he said, but the database is entirely managed by the health ministry since the system went live a month ago.

“The Taskforce and Chamber of Commerce continue to provide a supporting role, particularly in assisting businesses to register and set up their scanners,” Melvin said.

“The strategy for the broader roll-out, public messaging and promotion etc. is being handled by Te Marae Ora as the agency with the mandate in this area.”

Volunteers have been issued a CookSafe card with a QR code to keep with them all the time, and scan as they enter the premises of participating businesses. Information will be stored on an encrypted database that can only be accessed by authorised public health officials

Melvin believes CookSafe is “more reliable and affordable” than the other option, the ExploreSafe mobile app developed by local businessman Brett Baudinet.

ExploreSafe uses Bluetooth technology for contact-tracing, which Baudinet said was more effective and reliable.