The Thai Government has clarified that the “MorChana” GPS tracking and tracing application is required for interprovincial travel in the highest risk zones, which are currently five provinces, including Chonburi/Pattaya. Failure to have the application and if caught with Covid-19 can result in stiff fines and possible jail time if traveling inter provincially without it.
The current five high-risk zones are Chonburi/Pattaya, Rayong, Trat, Nonthaburi, and Samut Sakhon.
It is important to note that Morchana is VERY different than “Thai Chana” the check-in platform used at venues and establishments in which many people choose to use a manual paper sign-in sheet. The application is available on both IOS and Android store in both English and Thai.
MorChana is, as described by Thai government public relations:
With the new outbreak, the Digital Economy and Society Minister Puttipong Punnakanta recommend all to utilize available technology, like the application MorChana, ready for download on both Apple Store for iOS and Google Play for Android devices.
Once downloaded, users will be asked to answer a few assessment questions as well as allowing the application to gain access to their GPS location and Bluetooth to be able to track their movements.
AI technology within the software will make a preliminary assessment, and give each person a color: Green for Low risk and Yellow for at Risk. The color-based indication will change on a real-time basis to immediately notify users of potential risks once a related COVID-19 case is found.
With a GPS tracking system, the software will continuously assess the area and movements using BIG data compiled and recorded, as well as Bluetooth technology to communicate with other devices equipped with the software, to continuously guard each person against coming into contact with the virus. Entering a danger zone, the application will send a notification to alert a user to avoid the area.
Meanwhile, if a user’s profile turns either orange, which signifies that a person is a possible COVID-19 carrier, they are asked to go to a hospital and keep a safe distance from others.
With the application installed and running, users will be able to share their information by having medical personnel scan a QR code within their software, reducing the tracing process. According to the developers, medical authorities will be able to quickly identify other users a confirmed case has been in close contact with, thus allowing for easier identification of potential risks and helping mitigate the spread of the virus.
In regard to security concerns, the MorChana app has layers of privacy-preserving safeguards in place. All data collected is stored and displayed in an anonymous form, and users will only be asked to share these records if contacted by the authorities as part of contact tracing investigations. The operation provided by MorChana strictly adheres to privacy and data protection laws. The app will only be active during the pandemic and all logs will be deleted immediately after the COVID-19 crisis ends.”
The Pattaya News notes that establishments and venues are also being “requested” to ensure that customers have this application installed in the highest controlled provinces. Those who fail to install the application “could” be facing a penalty of up to two-year imprisonment and/or a fine not exceeding 40,000 baht or both, according to the Thai government.
It is “unclear” what someone is supposed to do if they don’t have a smartphone or a phone capable of running the application, although authorities have warned that if people are caught lying about not having a device that can run the program and found they do, they could also face stiff legal penalties.
Here are some direct links:
This is a developing story.