x

Coronavirus

SKorea to Launch App that Notifies Users when They Come Close to People Infected with COVID-19

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korean health authorities say they’re reviewing the possible use of new smartphone technology from Apple and Google that automatically notifies users when they come close to people infected with the coronavirus.

But officials also say it isn’t clear whether the Bluetooth-based apps would meaningfully boost the country’s technology-driven fight against COVID-19, where health workers have aggressively used cellphone data, credit card records and surveillance footage to trace and isolate potential virus carriers.

Vice Health Minister Kim Gang-lip said Wednesday that the U.S. tech giants in a message conveyed through South Korean cellphone carrier KT recommended that the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention consider using their technology.

Lee Kang-ho, another health ministry official, said officials were discussing whether the apps would be useful, but added “our methods in anti-virus efforts differ from methods and goals pursued over there.”

The software released by Apple and Google — a product of a rare partnership between the industry rivals — relies on wireless Bluetooth technology to detect when someone who downloaded the app has spent time near another app user who later tests positive for COVID-19.

Following a 2015 outbreak of a different coronavirus, MERS, South Korea rewrote its infectious disease law to allow health authorities quick access over a broad range of personal information when fighting epidemics, which includes medical and credit card records and location information provided by police and cellphone carriers.

Health workers have been vigorously using these powers while carrying out an aggressive test-and-quarantine program.

RELATED

ATHENS – While the New Democracy government is easing health restrictions for rabid anti-vaxxers, those fully vaccinated against COVID-19 may need a fourth shot in the autumn.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

From Yale to Jail: Oath Keepers Founder Stewart Rhodes’ Path

PHOENIX — Long before he assembled one of the largest far-right anti-government militia groups in U.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.