SWISSCOVID, THE FIRST GOOGLE-APPLE-BASED CORONAVIRUS CONTACT-TRACING APP LAUNCHED

A Switzerland-based team has reportedly said that they have become the first to have launched a product for coronavirus contact-tracing, based on a tech provided by Apple and Google.

Switzerland’s app, based on the Apple-Google API (application programming interface), has been dubbed SwissCovid. The API that was rolled out on 20 May and can be used to create public health apps that track the spread of Covid-19 via Bluetooth signals.

Developed by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), ETC Zurich, the app relies on a decentralized approach. It is the first one based on the Apple-Google framework to be launched.

As per a report by BBC, members of the Swiss army, hospital workers, and civil servants can now install the SwissCovid app ahead of a more full rollout.

According to the report, automated contact tracing uses smartphones to detect the risk of coronavirus contagion, when two people are close to each other for a considerable time. It is aimed at warning one person if the other is diagnosed with having the COVID-19 disease later.

According to a report in Engadget, 22 public health agencies have requested the API. On the other hand, countries like Australia already have their apps, while the UK has said it will test an app of its own. However, switching to the Apple-Google framework remains a possibility for the UK.

As per Swissinfo.ch, the Google version of the app was accidentally leaked to the public before the access was restricted. The report adds that the Swiss Parliament will debate on the legality of the app in June, and if approved, should be made available to the public-at-large.

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