Victoria should adopt centralised QR technology to minimise the time spent by contact tracers collating information, Burnet Institute epidemiologist Professor Mike Toole AM told The Age.
He said Victoria, as it reopened after a months-long lockdown, needed systems that support the quickest and most precise contact tracing.
“It’s an excellent idea … and it’s worked well in South Korea since May,” he told Age reporter Paul Sakkul.
“It’s going to be really important from now on heading into summer because we want to have the tightest possible contact tracing.”
Professor Toole said the system should be used by businesses that host more than about 10 people at any one time because these businesses would likely be less diligent in writing down names manually given the high volume of customers.
Using QR codes would assist the government in its attempt to increase the amount of “upstream” or “backwards” contact tracing where authorities find contacts exposed to an infected person even before they became infectious.
The labour- and time-intensive strategy seeks to locate the “index” case – the original spreader in a cluster.
The Victorian Government is developing a QR code check-in system based on technology used in NSW and the ACT that some epidemiologists believe is necessary to achieve gold-standard coronavirus contact tracing.
ACT Health has offered its system to the Victorian Government for free. It is not yet known what system Victorian will adopt.