Thursday, May 14, 2020

In Response To A Concerned Reader

On 10.05.2020 one Anonymous reader left the following comment:

Yeshi sir, did you cross-check and verify your facts?

This comment was on my post: “Confusion: What is QR and What is Druk Trace

In response I would like to reply as follows:

After removing the contents of my post “What is QR and What is Druk Trace”, I got very busy – because our Club Members wanted to do something for the country – to battle the dreaded COVID-19. We decided that we would raise funds to supply hospital incinerators – to safely dispose off the waste generated at the Quarantine Centers, the Isolation Centers and the hospitals where the COVID-19 positive cases are treated. Please read my following post:

“Safe & Secure Disposal of Wastes from Hospitals/Quarantine/Isolation Zones”

It is not that our Club has not done our share. We had recently donated one Ventilator, which was followed up by a donation of 17 units of Oxygen Concentrators – both useful in the battle against the virus.

A decision was made by some select Members of the Club to work on donating hospital incinerators, on 4th May, 2020. From the morning of 5th May, I began the process of putting together the Grant application to the TRF. On the 8th May, I was ready to submit the Application. I uploaded the Application for approval and acceptance the same day - 8th May, 2020. The Rotary International District 3292 gave their acceptance and approval within hours of my submission of the request for authorization and acceptance. Same was the case with RID 3510 (Taiwan) and our International Partners RC Pingtung East, Taiwan – both of them also authorized and accepted the Application and thus the final GG Application was submitted to the TRF the same day I submitted – on 8th May, 2020!! On 10th May, the TRF approved US$ 59,000.00 grant for the purchase of the hospital incinerator that we had requested for, based on a request from the Ministry of Health.

The grant was approved within 3 days from the date of submission! A record of some sorts!! We are now waiting for the bureaucracy in the RGoB to get their acts together so that we can go ahead and start the process of acquiring the incinerator.

But in all this, I still hadn’t forgotten my concern about the way the DrukTrace was designed and how useful or inadequate it was/is. I still intend to be able to study it further as I get time. But right now I have no time – in addition to working on the incinerator Grant, I am also simultaneously working on the closure of another Grant project implemented in Bongo Gewong, Chhukha.

Upon the above comment by the Anonymous, yesterday afternoon I went to see and talk to a team member that designed the DrukTrace. I am happy and relieved to report that what I did was spot on. Nothing wrong with what I did – that is put my own money to print and distribute hard copies of QR Code for people to scan. The QR Code Team Member said that that is what they do too --- in the outlying areas, he said that the QR Codes are printed by the DeSuups (Thank God for these tireless legs in motion - clad in orange) and posted on home and shop doors. He thanked me for doing what I did – print and distribute to establishments that I frequent. I do not have the time to go into the details of my discussion with him but in short I offered the following suggestions:

The authorities should require the person registering for the DrukTrace to provide an alternate mobile number so that in the event the registered number is out of service, the person can be traced through this alternate number.

Make the QR Code universal and not location specific. This way the authorities can print and distribute the codes by the hundreds of thousands. This way lazy people, careless people, and unmindful people can get free prints of the Code. This will also help people who do not have the means or the skills to download and print hard copies of QR Codes.

Redesign the Application in such a way that it captures the coordinates of the place where the scanning took place – (something like: NL 25 deg 24’ 19”    EL 87deg  39’  28’’) instead of recording the location as Sangay Tshongkhang, Dechenchholing.  Obviously this will be useless for locations that are in motion - such as taxis and buses. Rapid tracing can happen only if you know the coordinates rather than spending time tracking down a place named Sangay Tshongkhang.

Lastly I requested the person that the government should make downloading and scanning of the QR Code MANDATORY! This is a national emergency and people should not get away by saying (one person actually did) that the government need not know who is visiting my shop or home.

If a home owner is not doing anything illegal, where is the problem in the government knowing, for a good cause, who has visited the place when and at what time?

There is a whole lot of misconception about scanning. Yesterday I had to go to the BNB – three times. The guard at the gate saw me come in for the second time and told me --- you already scanned that time so no need to scan. I told him no – I have to scan every time I enter the establishment since time of my visit is of essence, if a rapid tracing is called for. 

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