Norway is launching a new infection control app on Monday

Smittestopp appPhoto: Heiko Junge / NTB
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The National Institute of Public Health (FHI) hopes that as many people as possible will download the new infection app when it is launched on Monday. This time, the personal information of those who use it will remain on their phones.

The new app shares the name “Smittestopp” with its predecessor, which the authorities phased out earlier this year. 

The new app will be available before the government’s corona press conference on Monday.

Unlike its predecessor, the new mobile application does not use GPS data, it does not upload personal information to a central server, and it will only be used for infection tracking, not analysis or research.

The more use it, the better

“The more people use the app, the more efficient it will be. Therefore, we hope as many as possible consider downloading the app when it is ready on Monday in the App Store and Google Play,” assistant director Gun Peggy Knudsen at FHI told news bureau NTB.

The app is intended for those over 16 years of age, and it is voluntary to use. 

It is also not necessary to log in unless you have to report that you have tested positive for the coronavirus.

The program uses only Bluetooth technology. 

Through a system of digital keys that are stored in the user’s phone, which are frequently updated and replaced, the information that users enter about corona infection is shared only when they want to share it. 

In the same way, the user will be notified if someone else enters information about the infection and if they have been close to each other.

Even though a vaccine is on the way, and the authorities hope to gain control of the corona pandemic, the FHI still believes that an infection app could be important in stopping the spread of infection in society. 

And even if Norway starts the vaccination on Christmas Eve, it will take time before everyone is vaccinated.

Unstable infection situation

“It will take time before everyone is vaccinated, and the infection situation is unstable and can change quickly. Therefore, we need an app such as this one that can supplement the other measures and help stop further infection,” Knudsen said.

In the Norwegian Corona Monitor survey from Opinion, 41% of those surveyed recently answered that they would use the new infection tracking app. 

About the same number, 39%, answered that they do not want to use it. 

The Danish IT company Netcompany, which has already developed the Danish app, was the only company to submit an offer, and they were commissioned to develop the new Norwegian app for infection detection.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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