Despite the successful launch of the corona warning app, people in germany should not slacken their precautionary measures against – this has been pointed out by the renowned immunologist lucie abeler-dorner of the nuffield department of medicine at the university of oxford.
"The outbreaks in gutersloh and gottingen show that the danger is not over yet and that it is important to identify outbreaks as quickly as possible."Abeler-dorner, together with other researchers, had simulated in a study how a contact-tracking app can help against the spread of the coronavirus. They came to the conclusion that a tracing application starts to work as soon as at least 15 percent of the population participates. Then chains of infection could be broken and contagions prevented. Without any other protective measure such as respirators or safety distance, 60 percent were needed to show a significant effect.
The number of downloads of the german corona warning app rose to 13.3 million on friday, equivalent to 16 percent of the population.
Against the backdrop of the dispute in the UK over a suitable concept for a tracing app, the researcher said that, regardless of the system used, the success of an app depends above all on how many people in a region join in. "The german app had a really good start. I hope that with each new user, another user will be inspired to download the app and protect their friends and family." The german app is well on its way to helping detect the outbreaks, she said.
In great britain, the government stopped a trial run by the national health service (NHS) to develop its own tracing app just over a week ago. The NHS app was not based on the technical foundations of apple and google. This made it virtually unusable, especially on the apple iphone, because the app is not allowed to run in the background to exchange bluetooth signals there.
The nhs app sent out signals every 20 seconds, while the robert koch institute’s corona warning app only sent out signals every two and a half to five minutes. In the british test run, therefore, the duration of a contact could be determined comparatively precisely. At the same time, the NHS application put a much heavier load on smartphone batteries than the german app.
On tuesday, prime minister boris johnson and labor leader keir starmer had a verbal exchange in the house of commons: johnson asked the opposition leader if he could name "a single country" that had a "useful contact-tracking app". The labor boss spontaneously replied: "germany!"
The german ambassador in london, andreas michaelis, announced on twitter on friday that he had met with the british health minister matt hancock to discuss a possible collaboration. "The experts have intensified their contacts and want to move forward together," it says in its tweet.