Our Soldiers Participate in the Smart Quarantine that Effectively Helps in the Fight Against Coronavirus

 28. 04. 2020      category: Army of the Czech Republic

Smart quarantine. A term, which has been greatly discussed in the Czech society in the recent weeks. Some consider it a “violation of privacy”, others actively use it and help to discover people possibly infected by the coronavirus. The Army of the Czech Republic and its sample collection teams play an important role here and prove that its purpose does not lie only in protecting the homeland.

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Picture: How the smart quarantine works in practice | MZCR archive

Let’s explain how the so-called smart quarantine works in practice. The aim of the smart quarantine is to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic in the Czech Republic in the shortest time possible so that the measures can be loosened and people can return to normal lives as soon as possible. To return to work, to school, to meet friends again, but also to get the economy in motion again. All this will be possible when the spread of the virus is under absolute control, which should be in the interest of all citizens of the Czech Republic.

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Picture: Mobile sample collection teams are getting ready in southern Moravia | army.cz

The smart quarantine will also help regional hygiene stations to speed up their procedures and make them more precise. The use of digital technologies will make it much easier and more accurate to identify people who have come into contact with the coronavirus. Of course, everything is in full compliance with the law on personal data protection and the data are used only with the express consent. The obtained location data will not be misused in any way. And how is the data obtained? Directly from the infected people, if they consent. The contact is then used to obtain data on card transactions, i.e. on the physical movement of the infected person. The same applies to data obtained from mobile operators. This monitoring is not possible without express consent. A similar smart quarantine system already works in practice, for example in the Republic of Korea or Singapore.

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Picture: More than 200 samples are collected in 12 hours. It is very important to work aseptically and under strict anti-epidemic conditions, so that the collected material is not degraded. | army.cz

As soon as the hygiene station obtains the above-mentioned data, as well as data from applications such as eRouška or mapy.cz, it sends out special teams, which take samples from the nasopharynx of potentially infected people (i.e. those that the infected person may have come across). These samples are then analysed to find out whether the person concerned is infected or not. Army medics thus have an irreplaceable role as they facilitate the work of medical staff who can fully attend to the sick. The army thus once again fulfils the function it has performed in the past, for example during floods. It helps people in need and helps to map the disease to prevent it from spreading.

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Picture: The army thus once again fulfils the function it has performed in the past, for example during floods. It helps people in need and helps to map the disease to prevent it from spreading. | army.cz

The army offered its premises in Ruzyně in Prague for the purposes of the smart quarantine.  Here is the base for the central management team of about 90 members. It is comprised mainly of soldiers, police officers, firefighters and medical specialists and analysts. Together, they are creating a system which, once fully implemented in all regions, will significantly speed up the whole process of notifying and quarantining people, testing them, tasking sample collection teams, disinfection teams and laboratories, and distributing medical equipment or tests. So that in the oncoming weeks, the people infected by the coronavirus can be isolated from healthy ones as quickly as possible and society can return to normal life.

 Author: Martin Šiška