Zimbabweans develop barcoding for Covid-19 certificates

Farirai Machivenyika
Senior Reporter
Barcoding is now generated automatically in a system developed by Zimbabweans and already exported to other Sadc countries to identify genuine Covid-19 certificates as those checking the codes are able to immediately see who was tested and when, along with the result.

A number of people have been arrested for issuing fake Covid-19 certificates, while Klossad Laboratories was shut down after some of its employees were exposed for facilitating the practice.

Ministry of Health and Child Care spokesperson Mr Donald Mujiri yesterday said the barcoding came through a public-private sector partnership to add security to genuine certificates and make counterfeits easy to detect.

“The Ministry of Health and Child Care now requires all laboratories to put a barcode of Quick Response code on all Covid-19 results. This was a result of increases in fake results being presented at the points of entry,” he said.

“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 through scanning the codes or online using smartphones.”

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.

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.

“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,” Mr Gondo said.

Since the outbreak of Covid-19 last year, most countries require Covid-19 certificates for entry or exit into their jurisdictions.

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