The Portuguese government decreed, two days ago, a state of calamity due to the second wave of covid-19 that began to fill the hospitals. Many people decided to act quickly: they rushed to buy old Nokia phones.
With the rise of the state of alert for all mainland Portugal, the government of Prime Minister António Costa wants to make it mandatory, in addition to wearing a mask on the street, the installation of the StayAway Covid contact tracking application. The app, launched in August, was, until now, “a complementary and voluntary tool for responding to the epidemiological situation”, according to the Council of Ministers.
After Costa’s statement, the privacy debate ignited social media and raised protests from several organizations. While the controversy is rampant in the offices and in the media, anyone who does not want to be forced to install the app is resorting to the trick of walking with an old cell phone, which does not support the tracking application. And that’s how prices and demand for Nokia devices exploded on sales platforms like OLX.
Some ads, to attract more interested parties, explicitly cite the StayAway Covid app.
In just 24 hours, 21 people died from covid-19 in Portugal. This Friday (16) alone, 2,608 new cases were registered – it is the third consecutive day in which the number of infected people exceeds two thousand.
Hospitalizations also rose: 1,015 hospitalized infected, 144 in intensive care units. Even so, the situation is far from the peaks recorded in April. Since March, when Portugal was invaded by the disease, the country has accumulated 2,149 deaths and almost 96 thousand infected.
According to the Institute of Systems and Computer Engineering, Technology and Science, in the last two days almost 178 thousand people downloaded the Stayaway Covid; there are already more than 1.68 million devices with the application in the country.