The Department of Health has launched a new app to alert South Africans if they have been exposed to someone with Covid-19.
Cape Town – The Department of Health has launched a new app to alert South Africans if they have been exposed to someone with Covid-19.
The app, called COVID Alert SA, is a free exposure notification app that warn users who could have been exposed to someone who has Covid-19, by tracking smartphone proximity.
It is worth noting that the COVID-19 Alert South Africa app does not use location and instead uses Bluetooth contact tracing technology.
“The COVID Alert SA app uses Bluetooth contact-tracing technology to let people know if they have been in contact with someone who has Covid-19. It gives everyone the chance to understand their exposure to the virus, so that we can protect every member of the community, especially those most at risk,” said the SA Health department on its Covid-19 alert website.
“It is an important tool to combatting the epidemic, which can help slow the spread of the virus and save lives. Anyone in South Africa who has a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone can access this app.”
Smartphones that have the app exchange a Bluetooth key when they are two metres from each other.
As a result, constant location tracking is not necessary.
The more people who download and use the app each day, the better the quality of protective information accessible to all app users becomes.
“This app helps us to work together to stop the spread of Covid-19 using Bluetooth contact-tracing technology — which simply tracks close contact (proximity) between smartphones, and not the actual location of the smartphones,” added the government.
The government stressed that app users’ privacy and security are core to the framework.
It does not identify users to each other in the case of a confirmed coronavirus case and app users can anonymously report if they have tested positive for the virus.
The app then sends notifications to devices that have recently been in close proximity to the user.
The contact tracing app does not require other health information and neither does it identify personal detail or access to your phone’s contacts.
Downloading the app is quick and easy and is under 3 MB in size.
The app is free to access and does not feature in-app purchases. Users also do not have to pay for mobile data when using the app.
Citizens can download the free app from the Apple App Store or Google Play.