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World French COVID tracing app needs more downloads to be effective: minister

12:25  25 october  2020
12:25  25 october  2020 Source:   reuters.com

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The troubled French contact- tracing app has a new name, but suffers teething issues. The NHS Covid -19 app for England and Wales, for example, was downloaded more than Others were unable to activate the app , getting error messages. France's digital minister Cedric O told television station

PARIS — Of the 1.9 million French people who downloaded the country's contact- tracing app The junior minister also addressed concerns regarding the app 's centralized approach, which makes it ‘Governments may need to consider raising progressive taxes on more affluent individuals,’ says

PARIS (Reuters) - France's new COVID-19 contact-tracing app needs to be downloaded by at least 20% of the population to be effective but is far from reaching that level for now, the minister for digital affairs said on Sunday.

a group of people standing on a sidewalk: FILE PHOTO: Police officers check a person in Nice as the French Riviera city prepares for a new nightly curfew imposed in an effort to combat the the coronavirus © Reuters/ERIC GAILLARD FILE PHOTO: Police officers check a person in Nice as the French Riviera city prepares for a new nightly curfew imposed in an effort to combat the the coronavirus a group of people sitting at night: FILE PHOTO: People enjoy the view from Montmartre a few minutes before the nightly curfew imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus, in Paris © Reuters/CHARLES PLATIAU FILE PHOTO: People enjoy the view from Montmartre a few minutes before the nightly curfew imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus, in Paris

On Oct. 22, France relaunched its "StopCovid" tracing app and renamed it "Tous Anti-Covid" (all against Covid), which has since seen an additional 1.2 million downloads for a total number of about 4 million.

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But nearly half of French people would refuse to download the “StopCovid” app because of concerns about confidentiality and privacy Edouard Philippe, the prime minister , called for a parliamentary debate on digital contact tracing , acknowledging that “it raises many questions when there is a need

Countries around the world are developing Covid -19 smartphone apps to limit the spread of coronavirus and relax lockdown restrictions. It has however used other surveillance methods which would be seen as invasive by many . At the start, the centralised approach was seen to be pioneering.

"For the application to be efficient, about 20% of the population, or 15 to 20 million people, need to download it," Digital Affairs Minister Cedrid O said on franceinfo radio.

He said similar apps were working well in Britain, Germany and Canada but gave no examples of successful contact tracing in France with the app.

Many in France have been reluctant to download the app over privacy concerns, despite the government's reassurances that the data will not be used for any other purpose than stopping the pandemic.

O said the app would be a crucial tool in preventing the spread of infection once France ends a curfew imposed on two-thirds of the population in an effort to rein in contagion.

The app works with bluetooth and warns users if they have been within one metre (3.3 feet) of an infected person for at least 15 minutes.

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The application Covidom developed by AP-HP to monitor Covid -19 patients from home. The main objective of an application like Covidom " is to ensure remote telemonitoring of patients not requiring hospitalisation, without overloading the health facilities and general practitioners, allowing them to

The Prime Minister has repeatedly urged Australians to download the app and said more people doing so would give leaders greater confidence in Prime Minister Scott Morrison has repeatedly said he hoped at least 40 per cent of Australians would download the app to ensure it was effective .

"It does mean that you need to have your bluetooth on and that the other person is also using the app," O said.

President Emmanuel Macron said in mid-October that the previously used app had not worked well and that users of the new one would be instructed to switch it on only when they are in close proximity with other people, like on the subway or at parties, and that it made no sense to leave it on all the time.

Prime Minister Jean Castex said last month that he had not downloaded his government's coronavirus contact-tracing app because he does not take the metro.

On Saturday, France registered a new record of more than 45,000 coronavirus infections over a 24-hour period.

(Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

3 dead in 'terrorist' knife attack in French church, second beheading in two weeks .
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