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Information is power. Close coordination and data sharing between all sectors are imperative when coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. Information must be shared between emergency management, public safety agencies, health communities, the private sector, and government.
The difficulties in data sharing are not only typical to Israel. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate has developed the Regional Information Sharing Platform (RISP) to provide regional situational awareness.
RISP enables users to collaborate and share information at the tribal, local, state, and federal levels. It is typically used with resource tracking boards to help users make crucial decisions related to the movement of commodities and deploying resources in the field. Since the start of the pandemic, RISP users have been using it to identify resource statuses and needs; to pull resources together; and to deploy resources to where they are needed the most.
The RISP was developed to provide regional situational awareness and information sharing capabilities before, during, and after disasters, such as earthquakes. The capabilities within the RISP have been used to support real-world disaster response by Central United States Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC) states in the last several years.
Because many of its features have been automated—displaying and reporting county-by-county power outages, for example—states are able to incorporate data and reports from the RISP into their own incident management and situational awareness tools. This enables emergency managers to spend less time gathering information from multiple sources and more time on coordinating and delivering resources to impacted areas, according to govtech.com.
In Japan, an online system called HER-SYS for managing information on novel coronavirus patients in an integrated fashion that was launched by the national government in May but has been slow in widespread implementation among local governments in the country.
Delays in implementation have been observed in the prefectures that had their own original programs and are said to be slow in switching systems. This means that a nationwide program for coronavirus data aggregation has not been firmly established even after half a year has passed since the first infection was confirmed in Japan on Jan. 16, according to mainichi.jp.