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An idiot’s guide to Ireland’s new Covid-tracing app: How does it work and will it stop the spread of coronavirus?

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The app would speed up the tracing of contacts of newly diagnosed people with the virus and improve efforts needed to curb the spread of the virus. Photo: REUTERS

The app would speed up the tracing of contacts of newly diagnosed people with the virus and improve efforts needed to curb the spread of the virus. Photo: REUTERS

REUTERS

The app would speed up the tracing of contacts of newly diagnosed people with the virus and improve efforts needed to curb the spread of the virus. Photo: REUTERS

THE government has finally launched the contact tracing app into app stores. Here’s an idiot’s guide on what it is, how it works and what it will and won’t do.

What it does

It alerts you if someone you were in close proximity to over the last 14 days tested positive for Covid-19.

How it works

The app uses the phone to send out signals, which are acknowledged by other phones (which have the app) and stored for two weeks. If you test positive for Covid-19, you enter that detail into the app and it automatically ‘pings’ any other phones that were close to you for a minimum period of time (enough time to be considered a risk for transfer of the virus). So now they’ll know that some unidentified person they were in close contact with recently just tested positive for Covid-19.