Latvia will be the first country in the world to use the coronavirus tracking system developed by Google and Apple. The service application was called “Apturi Covid” (“Pare a Covid”, in direct translation), and will be compatible with 99% of the iOS and Android smartphones available in the world.
“With the help of Bluetooth technology, the application can detect and register other nearby mobile devices for at least 15 minutes. All data is encrypted and stored directly on the device and cannot be accessed by the owner of the phone or by other users of the application, ”the app’s developers said in a statement.
To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the feature of Apple and Google will follow the steps of the users via GPS and, when someone infected approaches other people, they will be automatically notified about it, but without the identity of the carrier being revealed. They will then receive recommendations on preventive measures, such as avoiding social contact in the coming days.
The Balkan region is made up of about 2 million inhabitants, among whom it is estimated that 1/5 can install it on their cell phones voluntarily. The country is now the third with the lowest incidence of mortality due to covid-19 within the European Union.
In the future, the idea is that the tool based on the Google and Apple API can communicate with similar apps from nearby countries, such as Estonia, Germany and Switzerland. With mobile roaming, government agencies will be able to monitor the contagion scenario in real time, even when those being tracked are traveling internationally.