German government urges greater use of COVID App after 100 days

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

THE public should make greater use of Germany’s coronavirus track-and-trace app as the winter months approach, Health Minister Jens Spahn urged on Wednesday, 100 days after the “Corona Warn App” was released.

“Please make use of this tool during the pandemic,” Spahn said.

The app anonymously informs users if they have come into contact with another user who has registered a positive coronavirus test result.

To date, this was occurring in only around half of cases, Spahn said.

Thus far, almost 5,000 app users have alerted their contacts regarding a positive test.

Assuming they each have 10 to 20 contacts, several thousand people have been warned.

Government officials described the app as “a major success story.”

It has been downloaded around 18 million times, more than any other in Europe, said Helge Braun, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief of staff.

Spahn stressed that the app was not a panacea but served to supplement the work of health authorities.

Social distancing and handwashing rules still needed to be observed and masks are worn, he said.

The app is able to ascertain whether its user has been closer than two metres to another infected user over a lengthy period. In the event of an alert, the user is eligible for a free test.

Also on Wednesday, an opinion poll revealed that 61 per cent of those surveyed would find “appropriate” a rule making masks mandatory on public squares and in inner cities.

Older people tended to be more in favour than younger people. (dpa/NAN)

– Sept. 23, 2020 @ 13:39 GMT |

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