Health authorities in Abu Dhabi have developed an app that will help them identify anyone who may have come into contact with somebody who tested positive for Covid-19.
The app, called TraceCovid, uses Bluetooth to pick up signals from nearby mobile phones that also have the app installed. Should someone test positive for the virus, this data can be used to find out who came into contact with them.
Once identified, through a process called contact tracing, those people will be asked to self-isolate for two weeks and, if they develop symptoms of the coronavirus, must visit a medical centre for a test.
On Sunday, the Department of Health Abu Dhabi invited members of the public to download the app to help authorities track potential infections. The more people who download the app, the more easily authorities can find people who have been exposed to the virus and treat them – preventing it from spreading further.
"In light of the current uncertain situation, we are keen to bolster our advanced technologies to maintain the health of members of the society rapidly and effectively. Through the new application, we will implement a proven tracking system to control the spread of infectious diseases worldwide," said Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed, chairman of the department.
"We encourage you all to download the application and contribute to maintaining the health and safety of the society and protecting yourselves, your families and all those around you."
The app is available for download on Android and Apple devices and only requires bluetooth to be switched on when the user leaves their home or comes into contact with others.
The app does not affect the use and efficiency of Bluetooth accessories but runs in the background to communicate with other users' devices that support the application. Privacy of personal information will be protected, the department said.
For more information, please visit the app's website.