National COVID tracing apps to be linked in EU

On October 19, the European Commission launched an EU-wide system devised to link national COVID-19 tracing apps together in its latest effort to slow down the coronavirus pandemic. According to a press release by the European Commission “ To exploit the full potential of contact tracing and warning apps to break the chain of coronavirus infections across borders and save lives, the Commission, at the invitation by EU Member States, has set up an EU-wide system to ensure interoperability – a so-called ‘gateway’. After a successful pilot phase, the system goes live today with the first wave of national apps now linked through this service: Germany’s Corona-Warn-App, Ireland’s COVID tracker, and Italy’s immuni. Together, these apps have been downloaded by around 30 million people, which corresponds to two-thirds of all app downloads in the EU.” 

Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Single Market, said: “Many Member States have launched voluntary contact tracing and warning apps, and the Commission has supported them in make these apps safely interact with each other. Free movement is an integral part of the Single Market – the gateway is facilitating this while helping save lives.” 

Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, added: “Coronavirus tracing and warning apps can effectively complement other measures like increased testing and manual contact tracing. With cases on the rise again, they can play an important role to help us break the transmission chains. When working across borders these apps are even more powerful tools. Our gateway system going live today is an important step in our work, and I would call on citizens to make use of such apps, to help protecting each other.” 

Jens Spahn, Germany’s Federal Minister of Health, said: “Everywhere in Europe, infections are on the rise again. Right now, national warning apps are making a real difference. Because every infection chain that, thanks to an app, is broken more quickly helps to contain the pandemic. With the new gateway service, we are connecting apps across Europe. Like this, contacts can also be warned during or following a trip abroad.” 

Photo Credit : https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Screenshot_HSE_COVID-19_Tracker_App_(Android).jpg

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