SYDNEY (Kyodo) – The New Zealand Government released Wednesday an application for smartphones to track infections with new coronavirus.
The Ministry of Health said the application “NZ COVID Tracer” will also allow users to self-report symptoms of COVID-19 so they can be tested for the virus.
People who download the application will create a digital diary from the place they visit by scanning the QR code displayed at the entrance of businesses and public buildings, for example. They can also register their contact information through the application.
“One of our key public health responses to COVID-19 is identifying, tracking and isolating cases and closing contacts to prevent further spread. This application will help us do that,” said Director General of Health and Chief Executive of the ministry Ashley Bloomfield in . a statement.
“The more Kiwis download and use it, the better we act immediately to keep other New Zealanders safe,” he said.
To solve the privacy problem, information recorded with the application will be stored securely on the mobile and will be deleted automatically after 31 days.
“It is your choice whether you share this information with a contact tracker, and the information you share will be used only for public health purposes and never for law enforcement,” Bloomfield said.
In the next update, the application will be able to notify people if they are in the same location at the same time as someone who has COVID-19 and will allow them to send their digital diaries directly to the contact tracker.
Around 1,500 people have been infected in New Zealand, including suspected cases, but 96 percent have recovered. No new infected person has been confirmed for three consecutive days.
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