Mon, 28 Sep 2020

Finland pilots new COVID-19 tracking app

04 Aug 2020, 05:18 GMT+10

HELSINKI, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- Finland began to pilot a new mobile app -- with privacy priorities -- to combat COVID-19 on Monday, announced the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).

If a person is confirmed infected with COVID-19, health authorities will give the patient a code that can be feed into the app, if he or she chooses to do so. Thereafter the app will alert other users who have been in the vicinity recently and they can contact the health services, explained the THL.

Aleksi Yrttiaho, Director of Information Services at the THL, noted in a media release that the app would alert users without identifying them. The app would not create a database of the infected persons, either.

The app was developed jointly by Finnish digital services company Solita Oy and state-owned development company SoteDigi, in cooperation with government agencies.

The new app, which came after a previous one that started testing in June in Vaasa, western Finland, will be launched for public use in September, said the THL, adding that its uploading will be voluntary.

According to the THL, as of Monday afternoon, Finland had confirmed 7,466 COVID-19 infections and 329 deaths. An estimated 6,950 people have recovered, accounting for over 90 percent of reported cases.

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