Germany’s Coronavirus Tracing App Goes Live.

The coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting 213 countries and territories around the world and 2 international conveyances. More than 8 million people have been confirmed to have the coronavirus around the world.

More than 3.8 million have recovered, while at least 435,662 have died, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The US, Brazil and the UK have reported the most deaths.

“Corona-Warn-App”, a German application for coronavirus contact tracing went live on Tuesday and available to download.

Germany tried to prepare the general public to download a new smartphone application that looks to help break the chain of coronavirus diseases, one of a few such applications in Europe that governments hope will restore travel and tourism.

The new COVID-Warn-App, which became ready for download for Apple and Android phones overnight, uses Bluetooth short-range radio to monitor close contacts between people and issue a warning should one of them test positive.

According to the German government’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert said that the German population is under no obligation to download and make use of the app.

“Everyone who downloads the app, and everyone who encourages friends to do so, is making a difference,” Health Minister Jens Spahn told ZDF public television ahead of a launch event in Berlin.

The project nearly went off the rails in April as Berlin abandoned an initial approach that stored data on a central server which privacy experts said could allow people’s relationships to be spied on.

“Voluntary means voluntary,” Seibert said. Failure to use the track and trace app will not result in any penalties or disadvantages.

“And we believe that people should also not be rewarded,” he added in response to a query on whether employers or businesses could offer benefits to users of the app.

“It is a very meaningful tool,” Klaus Reinhardt, president of the German medical association, told DPA, adding that it provides a simple way to recognize infection chains.

“But it also allows us to take personal precautions by going to get tested if we receive a relevant warning notice.”

Millions of downloads will be needed to increase the chance of both people in a risk event having the app, but officials have backed away from earlier aspirations to reach as much as 60% of the population.

Downloading the COVID-Warn-App was easy enough on an iPhone on Tuesday morning, although some people may be deterred by the need to upgrade first to the latest version of the iOS operating system.

Reporting by Winsala Gbotemi.

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Originally published at https://www.egmanalytics.com on June 16, 2020.

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