Slovenia's Covid-App Will Use German System, Be Voluntary; 8 New Cases Sunday

By , 13 Jul 2020, 12:12 PM Politics
Slovenia's Covid-App Will Use German System, Be Voluntary; 8 New Cases Sunday Screenshot from covid-19.sledilnik.org

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STA, 13 July 2020 - The coronavirus contact tracing app, which Slovenia will develop using the German open source solution, will be voluntary for everyone, Public Administration Minister Boštjan Koritnik announced on Monday. The government previously sought to make installing the app mandatory for those with confirmed infections and those sent into quarantine.

The statement comes after the ministry on Sunday released a call for applications for the localisation of the German app, which is already used by several million residents in Germany and in several other countries, and is based on technology developed jointly by US tech giants Google and Apple.

The German app uses Bluetooth technology and does not store location information, which is a major concern of privacy advocates. As Koritnik put it, "the only purpose of the application is to let people know whether they have been in contact with someone who has been infected".

Under the open call, the app must be ready for deployment by 1 August. The call is for what is called a "contract below threshold", which means the value of the deal may not exceed EUR 40,000.

The rules for such contracts stipulate that the contracting authority must get a minimum of three bids and select among them.

The open call triggered criticism in the app developer community due to the short deadline. Koritnik said the deadline was so short because the contract does not involve complex solutions while the government wants the app to be available as soon as possible.

Koritnik pointed out that Germany had spent millions developing the app, while Slovenia will be able to localise it for a fraction of the price. He also said Germany's data privacy laws were as strict if not stricter than Slovenia's.

The government will consult the Information Commissioner on the proposed specifications and any changes as needed.

The legal basis for the deployment of a contract tracing app was created with the latest package of anti-corona legislation, which the National Assembly passed on 9 July.

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STA, 13 July 2020 - Slovenia's coronavirus case count has increased to 1,849 after eight of the 440 tests for Sars-CoV-2 came back positive on Sunday, fresh official statistics show. One patient is in intensive care, but there were no Covid-19 related fatalities recorded yesterday.

A total of 17 patients are hospitalised with Covid-19, one more than the day before. One patient was discharged yesterday.

Currently, there are 265 active cases in Slovenia, according to the tracker site covid-19.sledilnik.org.

Slovenia has not recorded Covid-19 related fatalities for a month and a half now. The death toll remains at 111.

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