Watch: Covid-19 contact tracing app launched

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The health authorities have launched the national Covid-19 contact tracing app in a bid to help contain the spread of the pandemic.

COVID Alert Malta was developed jointly by the Superintendence of Public Health, the Malta IT Agency and the Malta Digital Innovation Authority.

The app seeks to complement, but not replace, traditional contact tracing, with the authorities emphasising that users’ privacy will be respected. The app, its developers emphasise, does not store any personal details, does not reveal the identity of infected persons or of their contacts and does not track users’ location. The programme is open-source: its code may be freely viewed online, and feedback is welcome.

Instead, it works by using Bluetooth to exchange secret codes between mobile phones which are in proximity to each other for at least 15 minutes. Anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 will be given a code to be entered voluntarily into the app. Once this is done, any people who had been in close proximity will be informed that they might have been exposed to the coronavirus, and encouraged to get tested.

The health authorities emphasised that the more people used the app, the more effective it would become, as it would notify more potentially infected users.

More information may be found on covidalert.gov.mt, and the app may be downloaded from Google Play or from the App Store.