Bahrain reports new coronavirus cases among expat workers, uses contact tracer app

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Bahrain reported on Friday 513 new cases of coronavirus infection and one death, raising the total number of confirmed cases in the country up to 6,583 and the death toll up to 12 fatalities, according to the Ministry of Health.

Out of the new cases, 383 were expat workers, 84 were people who contracted the virus from contact with previously infected patients, and 12 were travel-related.

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The new fatality was a 53-year-old expat who suffered from chronic health problems.

The country also reported 418 new recoveries, bringing the total number of recovered COVID-19 patients up to 2,640.

‘BeAware’ app

Bahrain had launched an application called ‘BeAware’ for both Android and iOS platforms. It uses location data to alert individuals in case they approach an active coronavirus infected person or a location an infected person has visited. It also tracks the movement of quarantine cases for 14 days.

The app also provides public health recommendations and highlights global COVID-19 developments, state news agency BNA reported.

The application is monitoring approximately 2,273 self-isolation cases through e-bracelets people are wearing and has monitored 5,123 cases as of Wednesday. The authorities distributed 4,194 e-bracelets.

Contact tracers have gained popularity recently as a method to contain the spread of the coronavirus, after top smartphone software developers, Google and Apple, said they were collaborating on apps which can identify individuals who have come into contact with a COVID-19 infected person and alert them.

The apps use GPS location data stored on phones while connected to the internet through WiFi or cell-tower signals. They can also use Bluetooth to detect nearby phones.

The app can be used by health authorities to ensure that people in mandatory isolation remain home, and to inform individuals that they need to be tested or to self-isolate because they were near an infected person.

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