In addition to leading a meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall to update Phuket officials about the expansion of the MorChana app, Mr Chaiwut during his visit inspected operations at the ’Phuket Sandbox Operation Center’ in Phuket Town and the Command Control Center operated by Patong Municipality.
The expansion of the MorChana app’s capabilities by integrating it with the command control centres was part of the move “to support the plan to open the country to receive tourists in the next phase,” Mr Chaiwut said.
The plan was to pilot the expanded integrated IT capabilities in Phuket first as a pilot area before rolling out similar integrated efforts in other Sandbox tourist areas in other provinces, he added.
Present at the meeting at Provincial Hall to hear the news were Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew and Vice Governor Piyapong Choowong, along with Thammanoon Sriwathana, Vice Governor of Phang Nga Province.
“The Digital Economy Promotion Agency (Depa) has taken part in driving Phuket Sandbox by providing technological assistance to agencies involved in this project, such as developing face tracking systems, systems following the MorChana app, creating dashboards used for situation reports, Phuket Tourism Sandbox system alerts, as well as the Shaba Plus system and tourist inspection system for use in quarantine,” he said.
Mr Chaiwut noted that the ‘Phuket Sandbox Operation Center’, set up at the headquarters of the Phuket Provincial Police in Phuket Town, already received information regarding tourists from Immigration, all the major piers operating boat travel and tours to and from the island, as well as SHA Plus reports, police reports an Tourist Police reports.
“By having tourists travelling to Phuket must download the MorChana app it can be used as a tracking system that will signal the location where tourists are every half an hour to the centre,” Mr Chaiwut said.
“This makes it known where tourists who come to Phuket are at any point, and if tourists leave the area of Phuket, the system will alert the centre,” he added.
“We are also expanding the use of the MorChana app to support the government’s policy to open more areas in other provinces to foreign tourists,” he said.
“Staff from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports have downloaded and installed the MorChana app and tested is outside the designated area, and found that the system will alert the control room that there are violators out of the area so that officers can locate the tourists and led them back to the area [where they are to remain during the island quarantine period],” Mr Chaiwut said.
The officers also tested the MorChana app’s ability to log information about foreign tourists’ COVID-19 test history, confirming that they have tested negative for the virus so they may be allowed to enter other areas, Mr Chaiwut continued.
“This increases confidence about preventing the risk of infection and supports the push to open the country to revive the tourism economy, to let Thailand come back as a top tourist destination of the world as it was before, but this time under the new normal lifestyle,” he said.
During his visit, Mr Chaiwut visited the ‘IOC’ (Intelligence Operation Center), or ‘Command Center’, operated by Patong Municipality.
The Patong Municipality IOC was originally developed to help manage traffic problems and other issues affecting residents and visitors to the town, and has CCTV throughout the town feeding footage to the centre, but is now linked to the ‘Phuket Sandbox Operation Center’ in Phuket Town, Mr Chaiwut explained.
The CCTV cameras installed throughout the town through the project to develop Patong into a ‘Smart City’ have face recognition capability, Mr Chaiwut noted.
“In the next phase, the goal is to link the information of various agencies in Phuket together for the benefit of the people in the province before leading to the driving of the Phuket Smart City project,” he said.
While in Patong Mr Chaiwut also officiated the handover of IT equipment to a ‘Community Digital Center’ for young people, one of 500 such centres being set up throughout the country.
The goal of the ‘Community Digital Centers’ is to be used as a learning resource for young people in digital technology and people in the community the ability to develop self-learning through the internet and to promote lifelong learning and promote online sales of products to increase base incomes for people, Mr Chaiwut said.