QR code-based visitor registration service a non-starter

The QR code-based visitor registration service jointly introduced by the National Informatics Centre and IT Mission on the official COVID-19 Jagratha portal was launched to end manual registration using pen and paper at shops and other commercial establishments. But the service, originally an initiative of the Kozhikode district administration, appears to be a non-starter.

While the service is under implementation in some districts, it is yet to be explored by a majority of traders here. Despite a steady spike in the number of COVID-19 cases, large-scale shopping centres and supermarkets in the city have been ignoring the e-based monitoring process, which can effectively help the authorities track the primary contacts of patients and put them in quarantine.

Though the QR code generation feature has been available for download for over a month, only 3,361 registrations have been completed so far owing to the absence of follow-up measures or legal action by the authorities. There has also not been any noticeable progress in the number of new registrations.

According to officials monitoring the website, shop owners or event managers can easily generate QR codes using their mobile numbers and display them at shops or event venues. Customers or event participants can easily scan the code using their mobile phones and enter their details on the portal without any technical hurdles, they said.

The sole purpose of introducing the e-platform was to replace a comparatively insecure manual method with a safer option. Accurate recording of data too was another objective, as particulars entered in several registers were found illegible during examination.

Despite directives to local self-government bodies, rapid response teams, health squads, and the police to monitor its proper implementation at the time of the launch, they have failed to do it along with other routine tasks. Also, some shop owners openly opposed it, claiming that it posed hurdles to those without smartphones. According to them, reduced staff strength too is a reason for not trying such options.

Meanwhile, IT Mission officials said that accurate entry of visitor details, preferably through the new platform, was crucial for COVID-19 related data analytics and information management for better preparation for the days to come. The Chief Minister too had called for its effective use by traders, they added.

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Printable version | Oct 26, 2020 7:55:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/qr-code-based-visitor-registration-service-a-non-starter/article32748048.ece

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