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HSE chief – a million downloaded Covid-19 tracker app

Paul Reid has hailed the ‘most successful launch of this app anywhere in world’.

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HSE director general Paul Reid, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly and acting chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn launch the official Irish health service executive “Covid Tracker” contact tracing app at the Department of Health in Dublin (Niall Carson/PA).

HSE director general Paul Reid, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly and acting chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn launch the official Irish health service executive “Covid Tracker” contact tracing app at the Department of Health in Dublin (Niall Carson/PA).

HSE director general Paul Reid, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly and acting chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn launch the official Irish health service executive “Covid Tracker” contact tracing app at the Department of Health in Dublin (Niall Carson/PA).

Ireland’s Covid-19 tracker phone app has been downloaded by a million people, the Department of Health said.

It is designed to enhance existing contact-tracing measures and help manage the spread of the virus.

HSE chief executive Paul Reid said the development came at an important time as people begin to move about more.

He added: “I would encourage those who have not yet downloaded the app to do so, and for the one million people who have already downloaded the app, I would ask them to share it with their friends and families.

“The more people who download the app the greater its impact will be.”

It informs people if they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive using mobile phone-based software.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has described the take-up so far as a “huge act of solidarity”.

He said: “One million downloads in less than two days is a huge achievement, and I want to thank everyone who has downloaded it, and especially the team who have worked so hard to develop it.

“Using this app means you are protecting yourself, you are protecting your family, you are protecting your friends, and you are protecting many people you don’t know.”

He wrote on Twitter: “A huge act of solidarity. Thank you so much. Please take 2 minutes today. Please download the app & help us all keep each other safe.”

On Wednesday, the health authorities announced 11 confirmed cases of Covid-19 but no new deaths.

Fran Thompson, interim chief information officer at the HSE, said: “The app augments our current testing and tracing effort it has been developed with privacy by design at its core, employing the decentralised model.

“Phones exchange random IDs, if you test positive for Covid-19 and are using the app, you can choose to alert other app users anonymously.

“The app’s success is down to the people of Ireland – thank you.”

PA