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Thousands of islanders download the Kovid Tracing app

Image: Rob Curie. (29396889)

The Kovid Alert app, built by the government in conjunction with Digital Jersey at a cost of 000,240,000, was recently designed to alert users when another app that has tested positive for coronavirus is nearby.

The free app has already been downloaded by over 15,000 people this morning and has become the sixth most downloaded app on the UK iOS App Store.

Within hours of launching the app, technical issues meant it could not be downloaded on Android devices. However, those issues were resolved by yesterday afternoon.

Digital Jersey Chief Executive Tony Moretta said the new app is completely secure and users will not be asked for personal information. ‘It is completely anonymous because only the ID of the device can be tracked, not personal details,’ he said.

Mr Moretta said 15% of the population had an impact on the ability to successfully track cases, so the virus could spread, but challenged the island to ‘break records’, and that coverage could reach more than 50%.

The 15% limit has already been reached.

Julian Blazeby, director general of justice and home affairs, said the app did not replace the other measures currently in place, but an additional service that facilitates the work of the contact tracing team.

‘The government’s strategy for delay, control and armor is to protect the islanders, not to impose strict sanctions on society as a whole and to maintain relatively normal routines.

Mr. Blazeby said the contact tracing team is currently busy as a result of an increase in known active cases, and may expand in size.

“We look to increase our numbers, and it will have opportunities for people who have lost their jobs as a result of the epidemic,” he said.

The app was available to those with Apple smartphones throughout yesterday, who make up one-third of the island’s smartphone users, while the afternoon technology is being ironed into Google, allowing even those with Android phones to join. .

Health Deputy Medical Officer Dr Evan Muscat said: ‘This app should be used as another layer of protection for islanders. If as many people as possible can download it, being close to these cases will help us create a better picture of where the Kovid cases are and how many people are at risk. ‘