Cyprus unveils Covid contact tracing app

Cyprus unveils Covid contact tracing app

The creation of CovTracer-EN is part of a wider European initiative

The new national CovTracer - Exposure Notification (CovTracer - EN) application was presented on Tuesday before the press in Nicosia, Cyprus. This valuable complementary tool to the process of tracking the contacts of coronavirus carriers has been developed by the CYENS Centre of Excellence and KIOS Research and Innovation Centre of Excellence, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the National E-Health Authority.

Respect for user privacy

CovTracer-EN operates using the Bluetooth protocol, and records user contacts as defined in the PC protocol. Users of the application who have tested positive for Covid-19 have the option to fill in the diagnostic code provided by the Epidemiological Unit of the Ministry of Health and to inform anonymously their possible contacts, in order to follow the appropriate steps outlined in the instructions provided by the Ministry of Health. It is noteworthy that the application operates on a purely voluntary basis, with full respect for user privacy.

The creation of the CovTracer-EN app is part of a wider European initiative, which aims at developing tracing applications in the EU Member States and making them functional across borders. To this end, a common portal - the European Federation Gateway Service - helps connect national databases and control virus transmission across Europe.

"Now that we attempt a gradual restart, the need to intensify contact tracing becomes imperative," said Cypriot Minister of Health, Konstantinos Ioannou, quoted by the website of Nicosia Municipality. He added that the new capability will be included in the national plan for the fight against the pandemic.

Reducing infections and deaths

Kyriacos Kokkinos, Deputy Minister to the President for Research, Innovation and Digital Policy, thanked all those involved in the creation of CovTracer - EN for the constructive cooperation and underscored the importance of mass adoption of the application so as to reap the resulting benefits. He cited research data showing that even a 15 percent use by the population can reduce infections by 15 percent and deaths by 11 percent.

The app is available in both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. The project has received funding from the Emergency Support Instrument programme of the European Union under the grant agreement CYPRUS-LC-01591248.

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