Less than one per cent of people who downloaded Malta’s COVID-19 alert app voluntarily registered as positive after being confirmed with having the virus.
A total of 90,281 users have downloaded the app, with 296 users having registered as positive. That is around 0.003% of all users, according to new statistics provided by the Health Ministry.
“The app is working because the contacts of 296 persons were alerted that they were at significant risk of infection, and therefore were empowered to seek testing,” a Health Ministry spokesperson told Lovin Malta.
“Unfortunately, the privacy-preserving aspects of the app prevent enumeration of the number of contacts that were identified through the app,” they explained, noting that the app remains an “important tool to prevent spread of the virus”.
The app, COVID Alert Malta, uses a Bluetooth contact tracing system to notify anyone who has recently been in close contact with an individual after testing positive for the virus.
The app, which is available in both English and Maltese, was developed by the Malta Information Technology Agency and Malta Digital Innovation Authority along with health authorities and is available for download for free from the Apple App store and Google Play.
However, the app is set to be viable throughout the European Union soon.
“Within two months, the app will be interoperable with those of other EU member states, the app will soon also play a role in preventing spread among persons who travel between EU countries,” the spokesperson confirmed.