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11 May, 2021
 
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Cyprus urges public to use Covid tracer app

Government calls on members of the public to use app, saying it is helpful and secure

Newsroom / CNA

The Republic of Cyprus’ health ministry is calling on the public to use the CoVTracer-EN, the country’s national application for mobile phones, in a bid to avoid congestion and contribute to the containment of daily coronavirus infections.

The app’s primary aim is to strengthen and complement the work of Cyprus’ Covid contract tracing unit by informing users in case they come in contact with a confirmed coronavirus case but also assessed by an algorithm on “possible close contacts,” according to a press release.

“With the gradual relaxation of restrictive measures and the reopening of areas of possible congestion of persons unknown to each other, the voluntary utilisation of the app contributes to greater citizen safety,” the ministry said.

The move comes as the government examines the next phase starting April, with more relaxation measures expected according to local media.

Officials say the privacy of the user will be fully protected as no personal data is exchanged or revealed, nor names, locations, profiles

Health ministry officials argue that the app can be a useful tool which could notify user if they are exposed to the virus, especially in areas such as restaurants, shopping malls, and universities.

The application is also considered useful according to the ministry, citing European states that are expected to re-launch the tourism sector in the coming period, while such applications are already used by 20 EU member states and by 82 million European citizens.

Launched on March 11, the application is available for download both in Google Play and the Apple App Store.

Utilizing the Bluetooth technology, the app will monitor signals from the apps installed by other people moving around the app user. It will detect all apps of citizens that have been in proximity for more than 15 minutes and less than 2 meters and keep track of these contacts anonymously for 14 days.

If users test positive for SARS-CoV-2, they have the option to enter a code in the app to send this information to the apps of other users that are in close proximity.

Officials say the privacy of the user will be fully protected as no personal data is exchanged or revealed, nor names, locations, profiles, the press release said.

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