New app to track coronavirus cases in Poland

The Polish Ministry of Digital Affairs has presented a new app, knows as ProteGO Safe, providing people with information on the level of coronavirus infections in specific geographic locations, but also allowing to register contacts with other people using this application.

The Minister of Digital Affairs Marek Zagórski emphasizes that the application will be very precise, stating “if a typical user turns out to be an infected person, he will be able to enter a one-time PIN code, which will trigger the notification module. All devices with which our phone, our application, has had contact will be notified about this contact in a completely anonymous way - it will not be known who the information comes from or at what time the contact was made”.

The Minister of Health, Łukasz Szumowski, argued that it’s crucial to "find out as quickly as possible who is ill, as quickly as possible who could have had contact with whom, and to isolate these people"

This new tool - he said - "will help to remind potential patients who they have been in contact with during the last two weeks when they could have infected".

Similar apps have been developed in a number of other countries. In Iceland, 40 percent of smartphone owners use the state’s COVID-19 app. In Norway, the figure stands at 20 percent, and in Singapore at 25 percent.

Guidelines for such apps were issued, among others, by the European Commission, indicating that applications should be installed voluntarily, and as soon as they are no longer necessary, they should be deactivated. The EC recommended the use of Bluetooth proximity technology, meaning the standard short-range wireless communication, thanks to which one device can recognize another in public spaces

The app is available at Google Play and will soon be available for iPhone users too. Poland has had more than 27,000 cases of coronavirus infection, with more than 1100 fatalities.