- More than 500,000 people have downloaded the South African Kovid-19 tracing app, according to the Ministry of Health.
- The government aims to have one million people using the app.
- For more stories Go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
More than half a million South Africans have already downloaded the country’s Kovid-19 tracing app, the health ministry said.
Gaurang Tanna, Policy Co-ordination and Integrated Planning at the National Department of Health, aims to gain ten million users on the app. Told Network 24.
COVID Alert SA is a small application available for Android and Apple phones. It uses Bluetooth to look for other phones with the app installed and keeps an anonymous record of everyone you have contacted for over two weeks.
If you test positive for Kovid-19, you will tell the app and the app will tell everyone you know.
You should get alert if anyone you are familiar with reports infects themselves.
The use of the app depends on how many people install it, keep their Bluetooth radios on, or report positive test results quickly.
If another 50,000 people download the app, and everyone wants to download two more, SA can reach 10 million downloads in a few days, Told Network 24.
Discovery built the app on technology available from the Android and Apple operating systems.
Maria Carpenter, Head of Digital Channels at Discovery, Discovery has to adhere to very strict privacy conditions when creating the app – and Google and Apple were initially opposed to participating in them, Network 24 was told.
In April, Google and Apple have announced that they are working together Creating a Bluetooth contact-tracking technology that governments can use to determine the prevalence of Kovid-19.
Apple and Google initially did not allow the use of Discovery technology because it was a private company. Discovery then turned to the Department of Health and asked if Carpenter could build an app on its behalf. Told Network 24. Only one tracing application per country is allowed. Discovery hands over application management to the government within a period of three months.
Carpenter said Discovery found that the South African people did not trust the app, which stores information in a state-owned central location. As expected, some South African people have privacy issues and do not want to download the app.
Carpenter follows a decentralized approach, which means that none of the information in the app is stored in a central database, and the app is designed to not store any personal information.
The app does not have access to contacts on your mobile phone or Facebook friends and it does not even track your movements.
Kovid Warning SA does not record your name or location. Instead, each device is assigned a unique code. Using Bluetooth, it shares that code when it comes in contact with other phones running the app and records the signal strength (strict proxy for how close another person is) and the date of any such contact.
The application is free and uses only a small amount of data per day to check in with the central server. But this requires turning on a power-hungry Bluetooth radio, which can cause some battery drain.
The range of the Bluetooth transmission varies drastically depending on many factors, but as a rule it is 10 meters.
Anyone tested positive for coronavirus must type in the PIN number sent by the Department of Health via SMS as part of the Kovid-19 test notification process.
It triggers alerts for other people nearby, without revealing the identity or other details of the infected person.
In such a case “[a]PP users will be guided on what to do next to optimize their well-being and prevent the spread of the Kovid-19 virus to others, ”the Department of Health said.
Download South Africa’s official Kovid-19 tracing app Google Play Store Or for Android phones Apple App Store for iPhones.
Receive daily updates on your cell phone with all our latest news: Click here.
Get the best out of our site that emails you every day: Click here.
Also from Business Insider South Africa: