Thailand Wins: Notify gov’t everywhere you go with new COVID tracking app

Because it’s never too soon to declare “mission accomplished,” a new app will put Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha’s favorite refrain when addressing  the nation –  “Thailand will win!” – into your hand while tracking every place you go.

Polawat Witoonkolchit of the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society said Thursday at the Government House that the COVID-19 task force has developed a smartphone app called Thai Chana (“Thailand Wins”) to track people’s movements – solely for public health purposes, of course.

The application will launch tomorrow along with further details.

Polawat explained that it will require businesses such as restaurants, barber shops and stores to register online and post a QR code for customers to scan with their smartphones. 

Customers would use the app to check in and out of venues, Polawat said. Anyone who has visited a venue where they might have been at risk will get a notification that they should be tested for COVID-19.  

Addressing privacy concerns, Polawat said registration would only require people’s phone numbers, which may provide little relief given that all SIM card owners are already registered with the government. Don’t worry, he said, all personal information will be kept secret by the authorities.

“This is the relaxation for the new normal, and all of us are responsible for it,” Polawat said. “Initially, it might have some obstacles, but if we all cooperate, Thailand will definitely win.”

It was not said whether an effort would be made to require its use by all members of the public.

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