The British authorities launched a special application to track people with symptoms of the emerging coronavirus in England and Wales, after a delay of at least four full months.
The British Health Minister Matt Hancock announced the launch of the app during his speech, in which he said that the country is witnessing a turning point in its efforts to prevent a second wave of the pandemic during the coming winter.
He said in a statement: “With the rise in infection rates, we must use every tool at our disposal to prevent transmission, including the latest technology.”
The application was supposed to be launched in May, before the project collided with many technical obstacles that prevented its completion.
Britain, succumbing to domestic technical deficits, resorted to technologies of the American technology giants Google and Apple.
“We have worked extensively with technology companies, international partners, privacy and medical experts – and learned from experiences – to develop a safe, easy-to-use app that will help keep our country safe,” Hancock said.
The new application relies on Bluetooth technology that will alert users if they spend 15 minutes or more within two meters or less of another user who was subsequently infected with the virus.
It will also facilitate the process of providing restaurants and bars with data for every visitor, which has become a legal obligation in Britain as part of the new measures to confront the pandemic.
Britain recorded 6,178 new cases of the virus on Wednesday, the largest toll since last May.