Coronavirus: Abu Dhabi launches app to track cases, curb outbreak

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Abu Dhabi residents can now track people who have tested positive for the new coronavirus with a new mobile application launched by Abu Dhabi’s Department of Health (DoH) on Saturday, according to Emirates News Agency (WAM).

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Other countries such as South Korea have used similar mobile apps to help slow the spread of coronavirus by allowing people to track the movements of recently identified COVID-19 cases and assess whether they might have come into contact with them.

Abu Dhabi’s version of the app, called TraceCovid, works by detecting and identifying other devices that have the app installed, WAM reported.

When in proximity of each other, both devices will exchange an encrypted Secure Tracing Identifier (STI) and store it on both devices.

If one of the users is infected with coronavirus, authorities will be able to access the other user’s data and timestamp to determine whether they need to be tested.

“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,” Chairman of the DoH Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Hamed said.

This comes as the UAE reported 6,302 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and 37 virus-related deaths so far.

The UAE has been ramping up its efforts to contain the spread of the virus by enforcing a 24-hour lockdown in Dubai, extended the nationwide disinfection program, and conducting more than 24,000 COVID-19 tests within days.

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