Zimbabwe has adopted the use of barcodes to verify COVID-19 certificates amid reports that some laboratories are issuing fake COVID-19 free certificates to members of the public.
Ministry of Health and Child Care spokesperson Sir Donald Mujiri on Sunday said the barcoding came through a public-private sector partnership to add security to genuine certificates and make counterfeiting easy to detect. He said:
The Ministry of Health and Child Care now requires all laboratories to put a barcode of the Quick Response code on all Covid-19 results. This was a result of increases in fake results being presented at the point of entry.
All Government laboratories are now issuing these on the results and some private laboratories are now compliant with this requirement.
Our staff at all points of entry are now able to verify the results either by scanning the code or online using smartphones.
SADC Covid Testing representative Mr Martin Gondo, whose organisation is collaborating with Government, said the project was being spearheaded by Zimbabweans who have taken the system to other SADC countries. Gondo said:
When we are done with testing, we input all the results and information of the patient into the system including their photo and at the ports of entry, the code is scanned and all the details will come out.
We are working in more than three SADC countries and we decided to come up with this innovation on the back of corruption where there was an influx of fake results.
When scanned, the codes provide details of the person tested, date of testing and whether the results are positive or negative with the barcodes valid for a period of up to 72 hours.
Since the outbreak of Covid-19 last year, most countries require Covid-19 certificates for entry or exit into their jurisdictions.
More: The Herald