"Stop COVID" app hits 80 000 users in Latvia

About 80,000 people have downloaded the “Apturi Covid"  (Stop COVID) app so far, about half of them in the first week of app activity, reported Latvian Radio on July 3.

Andris Bērziņš, one of the people behind the tool, said that the application is intended as an assistant for medics at the Center for Disease Prevention and Control (SPKC), because wider use of the application would allow for a more accurate identification of the contact points of someone who has fallen ill.

At the moment, the app is used by too few people to be called ideal, so it is being encouraged that more people continue to adopt.

“We are immersed as a nation in such a smug deception that the whole [COVID-19 spread] is over," said Bērziņš. "In my opinion, there is not enough active thinking about what will happen next. The first wave of COVID-19 is still raging outside Latvia. We want to drive somewhere, because the borders are open. It's just a matter of time until the virus gets here again.” 

“We have had cases where sufferers have reported contacts through the app. The SPKC, of course, protects privacy very carefully and does not give out details,” added the app's author.

Bērziņš also said that the authors have ensured there is no threat to personal data and privacy.

In the future, use of the tool could also be organized internationally, if necessary.

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