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New Belgian contact tracing app launches on Wednesday

© Belga

Coronalert, Belgium’s digital contact tracing application, will be downloadable from Wednesday, the inter-federal Testing & Tracing Committee confirmed.

The application will make it possible to anonymously alert anyone who has downloaded it if they have been in contact with someone who tested positive for the virus.

After receiving a prescription for a screening test, the user will be able to enter a code into the app. This code will be linked to the code of their medical results. In case of a positive test, the application will send an alert to the people who have been in close contact with the infected user.

At least 17,000 Belgians tested the application over the past few weeks. Only 10,000 people were originally selected, but since Android users had encountered technical problems, the application was finally made available on the Play Store to make it accessible to more people.

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“For the moment, the application does not present any technical problems,” said Karine Moykens, the president of the inter-federal Testing & Tracing Committee, on Tuesday.

“The only thing we still have to work on is the link between the screening test and the application of the patient who undergoes it. This has nothing to do with the application, but with the fact that not all doctors correctly associate the 17-digit application code with the test,” she said.

“Users of Coronalert will have to make it known that they are using the application when they first contact their doctor.”

However, this problem has no impact on contact tracing, according to Moykens, as the tracking of telephone contacts will be maintained in parallel, thus avoiding possible technical problems.

The application will be available free of charge to the general public via iOS or Android and will be presented by Moykens at the Crisis Centre’s press conference on Wednesday.

Posters, leaflets and dynamic signs on the motorway will encourage the use of the “Coronalert” application from Thursday.

The Brussels Times