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Coronavirus

A Latvian Tech Company Launched a New Virus Tracing App

COPENHAGEN, Denmark — A Latvian company has launched a virus tracing app, one of the first with the joint Apple-Google operating system software — the newly released exposure notification API — saying the software that is using Bluetooth technology can detect and register other nearby mobile devices.

The country’s health ministry said in a press release that all data on the app, called ″Apturi Covid,″ Latvian for “Stop Covid,” is encrypted and stored directly on the device. It won’t be accessible to the phone owner or other users of the app that is voluntary to use.

The software “will give people the opportunity to return to their daily lives by ensure faster awareness of contact people, according to the app’s Facebook page.

The total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Latvia are of 1,064 with 24 people having died, the Baltic News Service said.

“With the use of modern technology, we can once again gain time and go a step further. The new app will allow epidemiologists to identify contacts more quickly,″ Elina Dimina, head of the Infectious Diseases Surveillance and Immunization, a government agency, said in the press release.

Due to the decentralized and encrypted nature of the app, it aligns with EU regulations on data protection.

API stands for application programming interface, which is a software tool that gives special access to some features of Apple’s iOS and Android mobile operating systems.

A Swiss coronavirus contact-tracing app was launched earlier this month but was limited to hospital workers, members of the Swiss army and civil servants. The Latvian app is estimated to initially be used by at least 1/5 of the country’s population of nearly 2 million.

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