CamSur LGUs adopt DOST’s Covid-19 app

NAGA CITY --- The Covid-19 pandemic has caused paranoia to most of the people specially those living in high-risk areas. Experiencing a simple symptom like cough, fever, and even a runny nose, can lead to excessive worries to anyone exhibiting such.

This premise prompted some local government units (LGUs) to adopt the Feasibility Analysis of Syndromic Surveillance using Spatio-Temporal Epidemiological Modeler (FASSSTER) and TanodCovid as one of the timely responses to address whatever unjust panic the coronavirus pandemic has brought to people.

The Camarines Sur provincial government its Environment Disaster Management and Emergency Response Office (EDMERO), together with the LGUs of Minalabac, Magarao, Bato, Nabua, and Iriga City adopted the said application that will help them decide in terms of resource planning, and mitigation measures of Covid-19 among others.

Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-Camarines Sur chief Pat Felizmenio explained that FASSSTER was developed by the Ateneo Center for Computing Competency and Research (ACCCRe) of the Ateneo De Manila University, in collaboration with the University of the Philippines-Manila National Telehealth Center (UP-NTHC) and the Department of Health (DOH)–Epidemiology Bureau.

“This is funded by DOST–Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD). FASSSTER is a web-based disease surveillance platform that allows evidence-based forecasts of possible cases and scenarios regarding the spread of Covid-19 in the country,” Felizemenio said.

TanodCovid on the other hand, is a “self-reporting application that allows constituents to report any symptoms that they are experiencing without having to fear being misjudged or ridiculed.”

“LGU’s that intends to adopt this application will just have to write a Letter of Intent (LOI). They will then be provided by TanodCovid with a unique number where their residents or constituents can send and receive text messages or SMS for free. The user can make use of his or her cellphone if he wants to report any symptoms related to COVID-19,” Felizmenio added.

A representative per LGU will be assigned to verify the call and may call the sender for a more detailed questioning so as to assess if the symptoms needs immediate attention.

The data generated will be very useful to the LGU concerned as all collected information will be summarized, and will render report including visualization and downloadable excel file of SMS received. These information can only be accessed by the concerned LGU and will guide them in contact tracing and will enable them to identify residents who should be isolated or quarantined.

“The data will then be fed into the FASSSTER LGU dashboard and will serve as a tracker for confirmed cases upon validation of the Provincial/City/Municipality Epidemiology Surveillance Units.”

Interested LGUs may send their LOI to faster.covid@gmail.com or they may get in touch with DOST Region V through phone numbers (052) 742 0911 or at their email at dost_ro5@yahoo.com (LSMacatangay, with reports from DOST-PIAV/Camarines Sur)