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Covid Tracker App to have 'significant impact' in slowing the spread of the virus, Ronan Glynn says

Over half a million people have downloaded the new Covid Tracker App, health officials have announced.

The app was developed to help with contact tracing for people who get the virus.

“As of 5pm this evening, the Covid Tracker App had approximately 545,000 downloads," said acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn, as he announced one more death and 24 more confirmed coronavirus cases. 

Dr Glynn praised the Irish public for getting on board and installing the app onto their phones.

"This is one more example of the solidarity and collective spirit that has characterised the Irish public’s response to Covid-19 to date.

“The app is an important tool to support our contact tracing systems.

"It has the potential to reduce the time that people are active in the community with infection, which will have a significant impact on the transmission of the disease.

“The more people who download and use this app, the more effective it will be. It is a further opportunity for us to play our part in the response to Covid-19.”

However, HSE chief executive Paul Reid said that the app “is not a silver bullet”, but rather a complement to the existing manual tracking system.

The app, launched today, has been developed with “privacy by design at its core”, health officials say, and consists of four separate strands - automated contact tracing, symptom tracking, daily information updates, and the submission of anonymised data on user behaviours to the HSE.