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UK News A glance at coronavirus contact tracing apps across the world

05:25  23 september  2020
05:25  23 september  2020 Source:   msn.com

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Contact - tracing apps try to log every instance a person is close to another smartphone-owner for a significant period of time. If any user is later believed to have "If you ask me whether any Bluetooth contact - tracing system deployed or under development anywhere in the world is ready to replace

Without enough human contact tracers to identify infected people, the US is barreling toward a digital solution, and possible disaster. BuzzFeed News has reporters across five continents bringing you trustworthy stories about the impact of the coronavirus .

a close up of a screen of a cell phone: England and Wales prepares to launch its own app on Thursday in a bid to stem the virus’s spread (Niall Carson/PA) © Niall Carson England and Wales prepares to launch its own app on Thursday in a bid to stem the virus’s spread (Niall Carson/PA)

England and Wales are set to be the latest nations to embrace an app in the hope of better tracing the coronavirus.

The NHS Covid-19 app will be available from Thursday and follows a number of countries who have already turned to technology.

But feedback has been mixed with limited information about each nation’s success, in part due to the focus on privacy.

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All eyes are on finding a world -beating contact tracing technology that stands out from the rest State and local governments across the U.S., including in North and South Dakota and Utah, are all Many say a tracking and tracing app would need to be downloaded by 60% of the population to be

Contact tracing is being touted as essential to controlling the spread of COVID-19, but it comes with alarming concerns related to our rights to privacy. Tracing apps will rely on smart devices to log movement and contact as a way of containing the coronavirus pandemic.

Here, the PA news agency looks at contact tracing apps across the world:

– Singapore

Singapore became the first country to launch a Covid-19 app back in March called TraceTogether and has achieved 2.4 million downloads.

One of the issues faced by the voluntary app is that it needs to be running in the foreground on iOS to work.

Apple and Google came together to devise a shared framework that would make it easier for health authorities to create tracing apps after Singapore’s effort was launched, but the country has decided to stick with its own approach despite the limitations on iOS.

According to Vivian Balakrishnan, minister-in-charge of the country’s smart nation initiative, “technology is only a supplement, not a replacement for the humans”.

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The phone app would record the owner's contact with other app users. If an app user is diagnosed with the virus, their recent contacts would receive If you suspect you may have coronavirus symptoms, call your doctor. Part of the reason new contact - tracing ideas are so important in part

to coronavirus contact tracing apps pushed by Apple, Google, and governments across the world . He wrote on Medium, “If you ask me whether any Bluetooth contact tracing system deployed or under development, anywhere in the world , is ready to replace manual contact tracing , I will say

In September Singapore also began distributing Bluetooth tokens, which can be worn on a lanyard or carried, as an alternative for older people without a smartphone.

– Australia

Australia’s voluntary app is based on the same system developed by Singapore, therefore suffering some of the same iOS limitations.

COVIDSafe was launched in late April and notched up more than a million downloads within the first 24 hours – however, the Government has refused to reveal how many active users it has had.

Officials in Australia have also defended not opting for the Apple-Google approach, with only a limited number of cases where the app successfully managed to identify previously unidentified close contacts reported.

Defending their decision not to change course, Australia’s deputy chief medical officer Nick Coatsworth said: “The Apple-Google offering, apart from being released only once the global case numbers exceeded nine million, substantively diminishes the role of the disease detective in the process.

“By their own admission, these tech giants will not allow public health officials access to the details of contacts.”

– India

The Aarogya Setu app uses both Bluetooth and GPS location to track users, the latter of which has been avoided by most other countries and has raised questions about privacy.

India’s app is required to be used more widely than in other countries too, with all workers, both private and public, expected to have it installed.

– China

In China, the app gives users a colour based on a traffic light system – green for clear, red for a coronavirus contact – and it is reportedly needed to move about as widespread restrictions are lifted.

– France

France’s StopCovid app has been running for three months now but a recent report suggests that it has had little success.

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The total number of coronavirus deaths across the world has reached 268,999, according to Johns Hopkins University , which has tracked the spread of the The UK’s contact - tracing app must not be rolled out until the government has increased privacy and data protections, a parliamentary committee

Contact tracing is working in South Korea and Singapore. But it raises privacy issues. This is the world of “test and trace .” In the past month, the coronavirus pandemic has necessitated a Second, the sheer amount of information made available by tracing apps will be tantalizing for power-hungry

According to the Covid-19 control and liaison committee, less than 200 notifications have been sent since the app launched.

– Ireland

Stephen Donnelly wearing a suit and tie: HSE Director General Paul Reid (left) and Health Minister Stephen Donnelly with the official Irish health service executive Covid Tracker contact tracing app (Niall Carson/PA) © Provided by PA Media HSE Director General Paul Reid (left) and Health Minister Stephen Donnelly with the official Irish health service executive Covid Tracker contact tracing app (Niall Carson/PA)

Ireland’s Covid Tracker app, which uses the Google-Android framework, appears to have fared slightly better, with a total of 370 notifications sent out to close contacts between June when the app was launched and mid-August, according to reports.

– Iceland

In May, it was reported that uptake in Iceland stood at 38%.

Gestur Palmason, a detective inspector from the Icelandic Police Service charged with overseeing contact tracing efforts in the country, told MIT Technology Review that the technology had been “proven useful in a few cases” but said “it wasn’t a game changer”.

– Other countries and regions

Many other places have also already launched their contact tracing apps, including Germany and several US states.

Months beyond the initial May launch originally touted for the England and Wales offering, officials and Government will be hoping that taking time to test before rolling out was the right move.


Video: What does the latest COVID-19 data show? (Sky News)

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