26 Jun 2022

Tom Crosby says new contact tracing app will be an essential tool in battle against Covid-19

Tom Crosby says new contact tracing app will be an essential tool in  battle against Covid-19

Tom Crosby says new contact tracing app will be an essential tool in battle against Covid-19

Local Roscommon County Councillor Tom Crosby has said it is “a welcome development” that the Health Service Executive have now confirmed the field testing and subsequent arrival of a new contact tracing app for Covid-19 which it hopes will be fully operational next month.

Also read: Two residents die from Covid-19 in one Longford nursing home

“The coronavirus has changed all our lives and is something we may well be with us for some time unfortunately,” said Cllr Crosby this week.

He added, “Leaving many of us living in fear and isolation. A contact tracing app such as this one is a highly comprehensive and useful tool which will be of great mutual benefit to both those with the virus and those helping combat it and I am delighted to confirm that the HSE will begin testing this week before details of the app are then passed to the Data Protection Commissioner.

Also read: Responders Group distributes 1,250 masks in North Longford

"The Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) will be submitted to the Data Protection Commissioner and will be made available along with the technical documents and source code before the launch of the app.

“The app will then be launched once it is fully operational and the necessary approvals have been received from the Data Protection Commissioner, NPHET, HSE and government.”

Contact tracing apps are seen as a key tool in trying to tame the Covid-19 pandemic in the medium term.

“The app works,” continued Cllr Crosby, “ by allowing your phone to interact with other phones around you via bluetooth and the ENS works by informing an individual if they have come into contact with a person who tests positive for Covid-19.”

“The app is being designed in a way that maximises privacy as well as maximising value for public health and will operate on a voluntary and fully opt-in basis. It is, I believe, an essential tool in our battle against this virus which does not discriminate.”

EXPLAINER: Will Phase 2 of lifting Covid-19 restrictions happen on June 8?

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