Home News Health dept to draw up Covid-19 tracing database

Health dept to draw up Covid-19 tracing database

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The database will be of all persons who were tested positive for the Covid-19 virus and anyone they were in contact with, who were tested, as well as their test results.

A COVID-19 tracing database will be drawn up to keep a record of all persons infected with the coronavirus in the country. 

The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, stated on Thursday that the national Department of Health would develop and maintain a national database to enable the tracing of persons who were known or reasonably suspected to have contracted the coronavirus.

The database will include the names, identity or passport numbers, residential addresses and contact numbers of all persons who were tested positive for the Covid-19 virus and anyone they were in contact with, who were tested, as well as their test results.

She said all information contained and obtained in the database would remain confidential.

“No person may disclose any information contained in the Covid-19 tracing database or any information obtained, unless authorised to do so and unless the disclosure is necessary for the purpose of addressing, preventing or combating the spread of the virus.” 

Dlamini-Zuma added that a retired judge would be assigned to oversee weekly reports compiled by the director general of health, detailing the location or movement of persons on the database.   

“The Covid-19 designated judge may make such recommendations to the Cabinet members responsible for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Health and Justice and Correctional Services, as he or she deems fit, regarding the amendment or enforcement of this regulation.

“While the right to privacy will be safeguarded, the judge will engage with the Department of Health to urgently and effectively address, prevent and combat the spread of Covid-19.” 

She said that six weeks after the national state of disaster had lapsed, the director general of health would notify and remove the names listed on the database, although the information would be retained and used for research, study and teaching purposes.

“All information on the Covid-19 tracing database that has not been de-identified will be destroyed.” 

Dlamini-Zuma added that necessary steps would be taken to protect the privacy of persons whose data had been collected.