PETALING JAYA: A lack of enforcement and unclear use of data collected are among reasons for the declining rate in MySejahtera check-ins, said Universiti Malaya head of social and preventive medicine Dr Victor Hoe.

He was commenting on a report that MySejahtera averaged about 16.9 million check-ins nationwide on April 9. It was the lowest in over nine months since July 1, when it recorded 17 million check-ins.

The average daily check-ins at registered premises using the Covid-19 app fell 30.3%, or by 7.4 million. This represents a fall from an average of 24.3 million on March 25, to 16.9 million on April 9.

Hoe said there is a lot of data collected from the MySejahtera check-ins.

“The data on casual contacts recorded by the system still has to be converted manually to ‘close contact’ by healthcare workers in the respective districts.

“This is because contact data is too granular as one only checks in at entrances of premises. So, it is difficult to ascertain close contacts from the available data.

“The granular data may still be useful when the number of cases are low, and healthcare workers in districts are able to follow-up on each case.”

Hoe said with the increase in the number of cases, the usefulness of the data decreases as healthcare workers cannot follow-up on every case.

He said MySJ Trace data is more useful than the MySejahtera check-in information as it uses Bluetooth technology to track close contacts, providing for more accurate data collection.

“However, this also has its drawback, as the MySJ Trace data needs to be uploaded manually by users, and people need to turn on their Bluetooth before the app can trace close contacts.

“The MySejahtera check-ins may still be useful in smaller venues, where people stay longer, for example, in a restaurant compared with a supermarket or shopping complex.”

Hoe said from a public health point of view, a good contact tracing app will be useful for on-time and accurate identification of close contacts, but the MySejahtera and MySJ Trace are not good enough for that.

He said lower usage of MySejahtera is not because of the app itself, but the legal and privacy issues related to data usage.

On Thursday, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the decision whether to relax the check-in requirement using the MySejahtera app will be announced within two weeks.

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