KT and Incheon International airport to develop COVID-19 vaccine passport

In South Korea, various entities, including the government, are working to provide ways to verify COVID-19 vaccination status.

South Korean telco KT on Thursday said it will develop a COVID-19 vaccine passport for South Koreans who are travelling abroad.

The so-called digital health passport and related services are being developed in collaboration with Incheon International Airport and Inha University Hospital.

According to the telco, those wishing to travel abroad can visit designated hospitals for COVID-19 checkups. Negative tests from these checkups can then be uploaded to an app that issues the digital health passport for use at the airport, it said.

KT said it is planning for the app to also carry the electronic documents needed for entry into certain countries for added convenience.

The telco is also working towards having the digital health passport sync with different vaccine passports that are currently being developed by others. It will also work with other international airports to have the vaccine passport accepted, KT said.

Meanwhile, South Korea's prime minister said on the same day that the government will launch an app later this month for verifying a person's COVID-19 vaccination status.

The government app has been in development since the beginning of 2021 and will allow the people to feel "a sense of return to normalcy" after they are vaccinated, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said at a press briefing.

Chung claimed that blockchain technology will be used in the system to prevent identity theft and protect privacy.

South Korea began its vaccination program in February, starting with health workers. At the same time, the country has seen a surge in cases in recent months, with 400 to 500 new cases daily.

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