The testing centre at Ballyshannon during the height of the Donegal Covid-19 crisis
Figures from the HSE show that there have been one million downloads of the COVID Tracker App since it went live less than 48 hours ago.
The app, which was launched on Tuesday, 7 July by the Department of Health and the HSE, is designed to enhance existing contact tracing measures in Ireland and to help manage the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Commenting on the figures, Paul Reid, CEO, HSE said: “The app comes at an important time as we begin to move about more and will support us in managing future cases. I would encourage those who have not yet downloaded the app to do so, and for the 1 million people who have already downloaded the app, I would ask them to share it with their friends and families. The more people who download the app the greater its impact will be.”
The COVID Tracker App is now available to download from the App Store and Google Play and has three specific functions
1. Digital contact tracing of close contacts of confirmed cases of COVID-19.
2. Allows users to record if they have symptoms.
3. Provide daily information about COVID-19 from a trusted source.
Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD said: “Throughout this pandemic, the Irish people have shown great solidarity and they’re still showing it. One million downloads in less than two days is a huge achievement, and I want to thank everyone who has downloaded it, and especially the team who have worked so hard to develop it.
“Using this app means you are protecting yourself, you are protecting your family, you are protecting your friends, and you are protecting many people you don’t know. I’m asking you to take the two minutes and download it now.”
If a person using the app tests positive for COVID-19 they can choose to anonymously alert to other app users who they have been in close contact with, including people they may not know. Those who receive an alert will also have quick and easy access to advice and testing. This will support existing testing and contact tracing measures that are in place.
Fran Thompson, Interim Chief Information Officer, HSE, added: “The App augments our current testing and tracing effort it has been developed with privacy by design at its core, employing the decentralised model. Phones exchange random IDs, if you test positive for COVID-19 and are using the app, you can choose to alert other app users anonymously. The App’s success is down to the people of Ireland – Thank you.”
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