The Canary Islands affirm that it plans to launch the full version this weekend, and Andalusia, Cantabria, Aragón and Extremadura have launched it in the testing phaseFirst start-up of Covid Radar in the Autonomous Communities. The Ministry of Health, Consumption and Social Welfare explained this Thursday that Andalusia (in two provinces, Málaga and Almería), Cantabria, Aragón and Extremadura have started the Radar Covid app in their respective territories, although it will be “in the testing phase” .
Where it will be launched imminently in full will be in the Canary Islands. Sources of the regional government have reported this Thursday that the tracking application is ready to be launched in the absence of solving “some technological fringes” and that its full implementation is expected this weekend or, at most, at the beginning of next week. This includes the explanation to all the shifts of the tracking teams how to give the codes to the patients. If so, the archipelago would be the first autonomous community in which Radar Covid would be fully operational and that would be able to detect real cases and issue real codes for the detection of positives.
Last Wednesday, the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System had approved an agreement so that the communities that are finishing this adaptation process can begin to operate. It is, according to Health, “a temporary agreement that allows to accelerate the implementation of development”, and that must be ratified through bilateral agreements between the health administrations of each autonomy and the Ministry of Health.
At this time, the rest of the autonomous communities have expressed their interest in adopting the tool, the Government reported in a press release, and they are carrying out the necessary technical work to integrate the application with their health systems in order to be able to implement it over the next few weeks. The director of the Center for the Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies (CCAES), Fernando Simón, already announced last Monday, August 17, that 13 of the 17 communities plus Ceuta and Melilla are in the process of implementing the Radar Covid coronavirus tracking app and that of them, “three or four” would have it operational before September.
The operation of Radar Covid is simple, at least in appearance. When the mobile terminals of two app users are at a distance of less than two meters for at least 15 minutes, they exchange data via bluetooth. These files will be stored on their mobiles for 14 days. If a user is diagnosed as positive for coronavirus, and his autonomous community has already activated the protocols, the doctor will provide him with a random alphanumeric code. When you enter it voluntarily in the application, users with whom you have had this close contact – whose phones check the list of those codes twice a day – will receive an alert: “You have been in contact with a person infected with covid-19” .
So far, two million people have downloaded the application, according to data from the Ministry of Health. The app already works on the phones of these citizens, so it is registering contacts. For it to be fully operational, however, it is necessary for each community health system to be integrated into the system so that, in this way, those infected are notified and the app sends the alerts. Installation and operation are voluntarily up to the users. There is no obligation to download it or to enter the code that the doctor gives us if we are infected. The latest data provided by the Secretary of State put the total number of downloads of the Android application at mid-afternoon this Tuesday at more than 500,000. According to their forecasts, if 20% of the population were to discharge it, it would help reduce the pandemic by 30%, and from there its contribution would be linear.
The app was formally presented on La Gomera at the end of June. It was on this island where the pilot test was carried out that allowed to test its effectiveness in the month of July among the local population. In total, 300 infections were simulated among 3,000 users of the application. According to the Secretary of State for Digitalization and Artificial Intelligence, Carme Artigas, 61% of the people who were notified of the fictitious contagion reached the end of the process, notifying the authorities of their contagion and complying with the quarantine.