Germany is about to launch its smartphone app to trace coronavirus infections.
Germany’s Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Sunday that the app is coming “this week,” according to Reuters.
The app, which has been created with the help of Deutsche Telekom and SAP, uses Bluetooth tech to detect people who are at risk of infection by coronavirus. The German government hopes the app will help in curbing the second wave of coronavirus infections.
According to The Local, the app, which requires Bluetooth to be turned on at all times, will measure the distance between phone owners. Once it detects two users have been within 1.5 meters of each other for longer than 15 minutes, the devices will exchange user IDs. And if a person tests positive for coronavirus, the app will notify everyone who came into contact with them in this manner. The app doesn’t rely on a centralized database, does not communicate a user’s location info, and does not access a user’s personal information.
The app was slated for an earlier release but was delayed to improve its reliability. Spahn would not confirm media reports that the app is coming on Tuesday, but he did confirm the launch will happen this week.
Numerous other European countries have proposed a similar solution, and France, Italy, Spain, Austria and Norway have already launched their own versions of the app.
There have been more than 186,000 coronavirus infections in Germany so far, and 8,787 deaths, according to the WHO. The number of daily new cases has declined significantly in the past two months, but the country has been bracing for a second wave of the pandemic.