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COVID-19: WHO will also launch an app but does not commit to tracking capabilities

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, different apps have been proposed to be developed to respond to the public health crisis, ePortugalno was an exception. This time, the World Health Organization (WHO) itself is developing an application, scheduled for release this May. With a tracking feature based on Bluetooth technology, the app wants people in poor countries to be able to assess whether they are infected or not.

The guarantee was given by Bernardo Mariano, WHO's chief information officer, who explained to the Reuters agency that the app will ask about symptoms and offer guidance to users. In this way, they will be able to know if they have the disease. The application is expected to provide other important information, such as services where tests can be performed. Therefore, this data will be customized according to the reality of each country.

Although the official app is launched in app stores, any government can use the underlying technology itself. For this reason, other entities will be allowed to add other resources and launch their own version of the application, guarantees Bernardo Mariano.

WHO does not want to leave any country behind in COVID-19 combat

After India, the United Kingdom and Australia have launched official applications, the WHO idea is that the app be useful in other countries, including some in South America and Africa. In the latter, the number of cases is increasing, in regions where there may not be conditions for solutions of this kind to be developed.

In this context, the WHO representative clarifies that the value of the application is precisely aimed at the poorest countries. "We will be leaving behind those who cannot (provide an app) and who have fragile health systems".

Reuters further advances that engineers and designers, including some who had previously worked at Google, Microsoft and Alphabet, have been helping to develop the app for several weeks as volunteers. Five of them will still be supervising the process, in an application whose code will be opened, just like with the Portuguese app that should be launched this month.