Spokesman Taweesilp Visanuyothin said on Friday (Jan 8) that use of the app would allow quick control of COVID-19 in the five provinces, which have the highest levels of infection.
Its use is stipulated under regulation number 17 newly issued under the executive decree for public administration in emergency situations, imposed to control COVID-19.
Records from the MorChana app would protect infected people against charges of concealing information in the event they cannot remember every place they have visited, Dr Taweesilp said.
Infected people who intentionally conceal information and did not use the app could be seen as obstructing disease control investigation and in violation of the new regulation. This carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison and/or fine of B40,000.
The app effectively supported the government’s disease control efforts and relieved the workload of medical personnel in disease investigation, Dr Taweesilp said.
The MorChana app was downloaded 1.5 million times on Tuesday, 1.65mn times on Wednesday and an impressive 3.69mn times on Thursday, he said.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Thursday urged people to download and use the app, but said there would be no penalty for not doing so – so long as people inform officials of their travel plans when crossing provincial borders.