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Blockchain App Used to Track COVID-19 Cases in Latin America

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The app Civitas by startup Emerge is part of the company’s efforts to track and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Central America.

A Canada-based company is turning to blockchain technology in their efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic in Latin America.

Emerge, a blockchain startup based in Toronto, is launching a public safety system app called Civitas to assist local authorities in many nations. According to a company blog post, the app was designed “to improve safety and cut store wait times by reducing gatherings in tight spaces, reducing the probability of contagion.” 

The software program could associate locals’ government ID numbers with unique blockchain records, allowing authorities to determine if they qualify for permits to leave their homes. If citizens report they are experiencing coronavirus-like symptoms, the app could help determine which days are safest for them to go out for essentials like food and medicine.

Central America in lockdown over pandemic

Nearly a third of the nine million people in Honduras have been under lockdown since mid-March, many of whom live in the capital city, Tegucigalpa. People who violate quarantine in these areas can face heavy fines or penalties if they leave their homes without cause.

Civitas would potentially allow doctors in Honduras to track these symptoms and include any notes related to the patient’s care. Such data would exclusively be available to the user and healthcare provider, with the importance placed on privacy.

Countries utilizing blockchain technology against coronavirus

While some countries are relying on the latest technology to track the virus, blockchain has been featured prominently in the fight against the current pandemic worldwide.

The United Arab Emirates’ Ministry of Community Development (MOCD) has begun relying on the use of digital identity through blockchain-based systems and chat systems for the digital authentication of official certificates and other documents. This allows workers to practice sheltering in place while working from home.

In the Netherlands, distributed ledger technology firm Tymlez has offered its blockchain platform to model the supply chain of medical goods in an effort to prevent price gouging.

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