COVID Alert Malta is the name of Malta’s New Contact-Tracing App which the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health launched today. The app, which is to be installed on smartphones voluntarily, keeps track of proximity events between users, using Apple and Google’s Bluetooth Contact-Tracing Technology.
The App, even through Apple’s Exposure Notification System, which was launched as part of the iOS 14 update earlier this week, will then alert at-risk individuals, after infection is detected and registered anonymously.
The goal of the app, of which there are some 14 different versions in 14 EU countries, is to break chains of infection, as it quickly identifies the persons exposed to a positive individual. Chris Fearne said that the app will not cancel out the manual contact tracing system which has been in place since March, but it will complement the manual contact tracing, which will carry on as usual.
The App is safe, and it also preserves privacy, and is also GDPR Compliant. There is no personal data stored and no GPS tracking as Bluetooth technology is used.
It is available in Maltese and English, on Android and iOS.
When using this app, a person who would have tested positive will not have to solely rely on his or her memory, and it also works when contacts are unknown to the positive person, again, since Bluetooth technology is used. This is extremely important when a person would have been on a public bus, or in a supermarket or in a public place. Moreover, correct use of the app reduces impact on hospitals and health centres.
The App uses Proximity Tracing, through which the proximity event is recorded when the user is close to other users using the app, with the Proximity being detected through Bluetooth.
Users who are then confirmed COVID-positive are given a COVID code which is needed to upload anonymous information in the app.
Following this, users who met with the positive person, are alerted that they are at risk and are therefore encouraged to call 111. The risk is based on proximity events of more than 15 minutes at less than 2 metres distance.
The app does not reveal the identity or location of persons, who register in the app that they are positive for COVID, or their contacts, while the use of the app is completely anonymous.
Simply Search COVID Alert Malta on your Android Phone or iPhone to download the app today!
Photos: Office of the Deputy Prime Minister / DOI