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This is how WEF plans to make international travel easier with uniform access to health data

WEF's CommonTrust Network aims at developing a global health registry that will standardise medical records and allow access to heathcare data without compromising privacy.

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New Delhi: Aruba, the South American island country, Thursday officially became part of the CommonTrust Network — a coalition of private and public partners, which aims to enable people to demonstrate their health status in compliance with a country’s entry requirements while protecting their data privacy.

The network was launched by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and The Commons Project, an international non-profit public trust, and is aimed at providing a mechanism that will make reopening international borders safer and resume economic activity by making health data more accessible.

“Building out this international trust network for health data will accelerate the safer reopening of international borders and accelerate economic recovery for Aruba and in countries around the world,” said Aruba’s Prime Minister Evelyn Wever-Croes in a statement.

ThePrint looks at the CommonTrust Network and the many provisions under it that are aimed at making access to health data easier for international travel.

Also read: Asian economies top Bloomberg Health-Efficiency Index

CommonTrust Registry

According to WEF, at present, a Covid-negative test report is presented on paper or as PDFs that can be easily tampered with. Furthermore, these reports are in languages “foreign to those inspecting them.” It is the same case with vaccination records.

Therefore, given the vast network of global travel, it is not feasible for every country to have its own independent method for verifying the health information of incoming travellers from every other country or region.

Thus, the CommonTrust Network was born out of the need for an organised and systemic checking of individual’s health status as countries across the world work towards overcoming the pandemic, easing lockdown restrictions and opening up international borders.

The CTN will develop a global registry — called the CommonTrust Registry — of health data sources, standard formats for lab results, and tools to make those results and records digitally accessible.

This will be done in collaboration with private and public partners such as global laboratories, governments, and other entities like airlines, ship companies, public transport departments, hotels, offices and schools, who will agree to publish and maintain their health entry requirements using a standard machine-readable format in the CommonTrust Registry.

The network also aims to “help governments implement more flexible, risk-based policies and develop a more reliable assessment of individuals’ health status as a part of a multi-layered risk management approach”, notes the WEF.

The CommonTrust Registry (CTR) will be enabled by global laboratories and vaccination data sources that will include one or more of the following — Apple Health (iOS) / CommonHealth (Android), other digital wallet apps and papers printed with QR codes.

The registry is a not-for-profit endeavour and will be available for anyone to use.

Also read: US cases cross 17 million, hospitalisations among children rise in Brazil & other Covid news

CommonPass Platform

Another aspect of the CommonTrust Network is the CommonPass Platform. It lets individuals present the health information they have accessed from the CommonTrust Registry to demonstrate that they meet the health entry requirements of their destination.

If a traveller meets the destination country’s health requirements, the platform generates a yes/no CommonPass Certificate that they can use to demonstrate their compliance without revealing any personal health information.

It was started on a trial basis in October on Cathay Pacific Airways and United Airlines flights between Hong Kong, Singapore, London and New York. The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and the United Kingdom Border Force and Ministry for Transport are government partners.

Also read: Covid ‘far more serious than flu’, death rate nearly three times higher, finds Lancet study


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