Let’s Talk About Data Strategy and the COVID-19 pandemic

Abhilash Khalkar
5 min readMay 12, 2021


Image Source: CIO.com

The measures taken by governmental bodies and people across the globe are still falling short, and the COVID-19 pandemic is still going on strong. Countries across the globe have thus turned towards a Data Strategy enabled by QR Code platforms to curb the spread of the Coronavirus. Utilizing the QR Code contact tracing form, government authorities are aiming to alleviate the impact of the pandemic on our society and businesses.

Moreover, the cost for such a Data Strategy is very reasonable and helps to perform complex functions such as contact tracing with ease. The QR Codes are 2 dimensional (2D) barcodes, which can be scanned easily by a dedicated app or your smartphone. In this article, we will talk about how a Data Strategy enabled by QR Codes is assisting in contact tracing and helping reduce the spread of the Coronavirus.

Understanding QR Codes

You first need to understand QR codes, before choosing to employ them on everything. The QR in QR codes stands for ‘quick response’. This QR code is a type of barcode that encodes certain alphanumeric information. This information can be decoded by a scanner in your smartphones. This can be highly useful in making payments, acquiring information about a certain product, or even transferring money to your friends and loved ones. One of the major reasons for the increased usage of QR codes is that nowadays all smartphones come with a QR code scanning technology, with no requirement for additional applications.

QR Codes have been the go-to for many organizations to ensure social distancing. The health of people is at risk, and hence to curb the spread of the virus many institutions have opted to close their brick-and-mortar shops. However, in the slow reopening of businesses across the globe, companies are taking all necessary precautions to ensure adherence to social distancing guidelines mentioned by the local government authorities. By incorporating QR codes companies are also ensuring business continuity and helping many workers with their wages.

Although there is no one appropriate solution for such dire situations, opting for contactless solutions such as QR Codes and near-field communication (NFC) tags can assist companies to establish and monitor safe environments for customers and staff. Businesses can leverage these contactless solutions to incorporate the following:

• Contactless engagement

• Contactless assistance for wayfinding

• Contactless ordering of products & services

• Enable contact tracing

• Contactless IDs

The year 2020 has ushered the way for the deployment of QR codes. QR codes have regained their importance in the 21st century on account of their ability to instantly transmit information in a contactless manner. Moreover, QR codes have a low cost associated with them, which makes them attractive for businesses as well as consumers.

Let us have a look at how QR Codes are helping various regions curb the spread of the Coronavirus.

Data Strategy: QR Codes for contact tracing

Numerous countries and governments across the globe have been using QR Codes for contact tracing. This has assisted to collate a database on the whereabouts of people. And, in case a person is found to be infected with Coronavirus, the government with the help of QR Codes can track the person’s travel history and intimate others who have been in his/ her contact.


The government of Singapore has mandated businesses to display a QR Code at their respective entrances. Guests, employees, and customers need to enter the premise via scanning the QR Code and do the same while exiting the premise. In this way, the government will be able to keep a track of the movement of people.


Image Source: DNA India

The government authorities in India have devised the AarogyaSetu app, which is based on QR Code technology. People across the nation are mandated to scan their AarogyaSetu QR codes while entering a store or a mall. The app then analyzes the travel history of the people and categorizes them into various levels of safety such as tested positive, high risk, moderate risk, low risk, and safe. Based on the information obtained via the app the authorities in a mall or a store can ensure that people visiting their premises are risk-free.

South Korea

The nation of South Korea has made it mandatory to utilize QR Codes in clubs, bars, and restaurants. This allows the government to log their citizens and their movements, and this information is saved in the government’s database. The government has partnered with Naver’s mobile app to enable QR Code technology for its citizens.


The Chinese government has devised a QR Code technology-based mobile application to keep a track of people’s health information. The app verifies the risk of a person to COVID-19 by employing 3 colors, such as red, yellow, and green. Red signifies infection, yellow suggests that a person has been nearby of another infected person, and green depicts safety. Hence, by employing this app, the government authorities can keep a track of the infected individuals and send any aid if required to the concerned person.

New Zealand

The government of New Zealand has employed QR Code-based mobile applications to track the movement of infected individuals and at the same time alert others who have been exposed to risk. The app permits users to maintain a digital diary of their travel history via scanning a QR Code, which helps them to assess their exposure to risk and take necessary steps. The government has reported that more than 500,000 people have registered via the app.


The pandemic has caused ripples through businesses and societies across the globe. It has transformed the way companies conduct business and the way people interact with each other. Hence, going ahead, contactless solutions such as NFC tags and QR Codes will become a part and parcel of our lives. The COVID-19 pandemic has shattered the notion that government authorities are slow in adapting to changes. On the contrary, government bodies across the globe have proved that they can embrace novel approaches to deliver safety and security to their citizens.



Abhilash Khalkar

Abhilash, a serendipitous writer, aims to create an impact in this world with his writing. He enjoys espressos, as should all right-thinking people.