Coronavirus: Cyprus launches voluntary tracking app to halt spread

President Nicos Anastasiades explaining Cyprus' lockdown exit strategy. April 29, 2020, Nicosia
President Nicos Anastasiades explaining Cyprus' lockdown exit strategy. April 29, 2020, Nicosia Copyright AFP PHOTO / HO / PIO (Cypriot government Press and Information Office)
By Alessio Dell'AnnaAP
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The government of Cyprus is encouraging the voluntary use of a locally developed app designed to locate people who may have come into contact with someone infected with coronavirus.

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Cyprus' government has encouraged the use of a mobile phone app that locates people who may have come into contact with someone who has Covid-19.

The app allows people who test positive to coronavirus to share this information with public health authorities, who are then able to trace anyone who may have been in close proximity to them.

The app is called COVTRACER and it was developed in partnership with a government-funded research centre, Cyprus' Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy said today.

It also said that the use of this app is entirely voluntary.

Another mobile tracing app based on Bluetooth technology was abandoned due to privacy concerns.

The ministry said Cyprus backs a coordinated European approach in terms of tracing apps that might improve the management of COVID-19 across the continent, as well as speed up border openings as travel restrictions get lifted.

A stay-at-home order in Cyprus is set to ease on Monday, when retail stores will be allowed to reopen. 

A nighttime curfew will remain in place until restrictions on movement are completely lifted, a move which is scheduled for May 21.

Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said this week that flights to and from the island nation would resume after June 9, depending on how the pandemic unfolds.

To date, Cyprus has more than 860 confirmed coronavirus cases, including 20 deaths.

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