Over 862,000 downloads of the Covid tracking app

A new Covid-19 tracking app has been downloaded by more than 862,000 people since it went live yesterday.

The Department of Health and the Health Service Executive have launched the app to help identify close contacts of people who test positive for the disease.

Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn said: “This is yet another example of the solidarity and collective spirit that has characterized the Irish public’s response to Covid-19 to date.

“The app is an important tool to support our contact tracing systems. It has the potential to reduce the time that people are active in the community with an infection, which will have a significant impact on the transmission of the disease.

“The more people who download and use this app, the more effective it will be. This is a new opportunity for us to play our part in the response to Covid-19.”

The Ministry of Health has been informed of another death and 24 additional confirmed cases of Covid-19.

There have now been a total of 1,742 virus-related deaths in Ireland and 25,538 confirmed cases.

Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said his department had advised and helped more than 8,000 people return home during the pandemic.

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Earlier, HSE chief executive Paul Reid said the app can mean a reduction in the time it takes to track down close contacts from days to hours.

The app identifies a close contact as someone who has been within two meters of a confirmed case for 15 minutes or more.

While health officials are looking to get around 60% app usage among the target population, they say any level of usage will help.

The HSE said that although the app is an app for all islands, it is currently not active in Northern Ireland.


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The app launched yesterday morning is expected to make it easier to find contacts, track symptoms and contain other information about the virus and has been officially launched by Health Minister Stephen Donnelly.

One way to track down the virus is to trace close contacts with people who themselves test positive.

The Covid-19 tracking app is designed to help with both contact tracing and real-time symptom tracking.

Dr Glynn also urged anyone identified as a close contact to “accept the offer of a test without delay”.

He said that between mid-May and the end of June, 35% of those identified as close contact of a confirmed case “did not accept the offer of a test” and warned that “every case has the potential to grow into a “cluster, which in turn has the potential to spread across a community”.

Minister Donnelly said the new app won’t tell you if you’ve tested positive for the coronavirus.

But if you receive a positive test result, you can allow the app to notify people you have been in close contact with, so that they can also benefit from the test.

Mr. Donnelly said the app will allow people to control their own data.

He described it as a “very powerful tool” and said health officials will encourage as many people as possible to download it to their phones.

HSE CEO Paul Reid and Minister Stephen Donnelly at the launch of the Covid-19 app

He said the majority of people who have smartphones will be able to use it, but there is a limitation in the technology and it only works on iPhone 6 and Android 7 and later models.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Six One, Mr Donnelly said that if enough people download the app, it will make it easier for schools to reopen and people returning to work.

Mr Donnelly said it would also help efforts to bring the healthcare system back to normal.

In the event of an increase in virus outbreaks, the minister said the app would dramatically increase the ability to reach people who are close contacts and provide them with the clinical advice they need.

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Meanwhile, a public health specialist urged everyone to download the app as part of efforts to help make the contact tracing program more effective and keep the virus removed.

Dr Sarah Doyle, of the Health Protection Surveillance Center, told RTÉ’s News at One that if you get a positive test result and agree to the app being linked, a contact tracing mechanism is used to access and identify contacts who were within two meters of you for more than 15 minutes.

These contacts will have been stored in the app via a “decentralized model” of Bluetooth that stores anonymous codes to recognize users and are deleted after 14 days, she said.

The World Health Organization says data to date suggests that 80% of Covid-19 infections are mild or asymptomatic, 15% are serious infections, requiring oxygen, and 5% are critical, requiring ventilation. .

Typically, you need to be 15 minutes or more near an infected person and within two meters of them to be considered at risk or as close contact.



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