Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives at Parliament Hill’s West Block for a meeting of the Special Committee on the COVID-19 Pandemic in the House of Commons, in Ottawa, on Wednesday, June 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives at Parliament Hill’s West Block for a meeting of the Special Committee on the COVID-19 Pandemic in the House of Commons, in Ottawa, on Wednesday, June 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

COVID-19 tracing app to soon be made available nationwide

Anyone who tests positive for the virus will be able to anonymously upload their status to a national network

The federal government will soon be launching a contact tracing app for COVID-19, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Thursday (June 18).

The news comes as Canada reached another grim milestone amid the pandemic earlier that morning, with more than 100,000 test-positive cases recorded since the novel coronavirus touched down in January.

Trudeau said that anyone who tests positive for the virus will be able to anonymously upload their status to a national network that would notify other app users who have been in close contact with that person, and then watch their symptoms and be tested if needed.

The hope is that the digital technology will limit the spread of COVID-19, which has no vaccine or cure.

The more people who use the completely voluntary app, the better it will work, Trudeau added.

The app is being designed by a number of corporate stakeholders, including the Canadian Digital Service, Shopify and Blackberry. Ontario and B.C. officials are also apart of the roll out.

Contact tracing and other related measures to track the epidemiology of the virus has sparked concern by various privacy watchdog groups.

ALSO READ: Privacy watchdogs concerned about apps tracking COVID-19 patients

Trudeau stressed that the privacy of Canadians will be respected.

More to come.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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