Covid-19 tracing app nears 1 million downloads in 24 hours

The number of people who have downloaded the Government's Covid-19 tracing app is expected to pass one million within 24 hours of its formal launch, which the HSE saying would make it the most successful launch in the world.
Covid-19 tracing app nears 1 million downloads in 24 hours
"We expect to be at 1 million users of our new Covid Tracker App within 24 hours of our formal launch." Paul Reid, HSE head. Picture: Gareth Chaney/Collins.

The number of people who have downloaded theGovernment's Covid-19 tracing app is expected to pass one million within 24 hours of its formal launch, which the HSE saying would make it the most successful launch in the world.

Yesterday, Ireland became the latest country to launch a phone-tracking app that alerts users if someone they have been in contact with develops Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

By 7am Wednesday, 865,000 people had downloaded it, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said.

Crossing 1 million would mean 25% of the population over the age of 15 have signed up for the app, which captures users' movements without further activation and allows the health service to contact them.

"We expect to be at 1 million users of our new Covid Tracker App within 24 hours of our formal launch." Paul Reid, HSE head. Picture: Gareth Chaney/Collins.
"We expect to be at 1 million users of our new Covid Tracker App within 24 hours of our formal launch." Paul Reid, HSE head. Picture: Gareth Chaney/Collins.

Ireland has had a manual contact tracing programme in place since the end of February and says the app will cut the time it takes to trace close contacts "from days to hours", as well as helping to identify close contacts who are not known to each other.

Research conducted for the health service showed that 82% of respondents were willing to install the app, which adopts a decentralised model where the data is held on the person's mobile phone and not centrally by the government.

Ireland currently has one of the lowest infection rates in Europe, with just three infections per 100,000 people during the past two weeks. So far, 1,720 people have died from the disease, a number that has also slowed sharply in recent weeks.

Reuters

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