Cape Town: South Africa has launched a new smartphone app in an effort to prevent a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the Department of Health said.
“Technology is key to slowing the spread of the virus and accelerating our return to everyday life,” the Department was quoted by the Covid Alert SA website as saying on Wednesday, adding that contact tracing is one of the most critical aspects of combating the disease.
COVID Alert South Africa is a cutting-edge mobile application that uses the Exposure Notification system created by Apple and Google in line with global best practice, reports Xinhua news agency.
It uses Bluetooth technology to notify users if they have been in contact with coronavirus, including strangers in retail stores, in public transport or in any public space.
“It gives everyone the chance to understand their exposure to the virus, so that we can protect every member of the community, especially those most at risk,” said the website.
“It is an important tool to combating the pandemic, as it can help slow the spread of the virus and save lives.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa also welcomed the launch of the app, saying it is “a significant milestone in our country’s fight against coronavirus, and will play an important role in preventing a second wave of infections”.
“The more South Africans download the app, the more effective it will be in stopping the second wave of Covid-19 infection,” said the president.
“But even as we use the app, we must still wear cloth masks, wash or sanitize our hands regularly, maintain social distancing and take all other precautions to keep safe,” he added.
South Africa has so far recorded 630,595 Covid-19 cases, with 14,389 deaths.