Rob Engelaar Fotografie

Belgium shelves plans for app for contact tracing

Philippe De Backer, the federal government minister that is heading the corona taskforce, is backing plans for manual contact tracing of the contacts of people, who come down with COVID-19, when corona measures are relaxed.  Plans for the use of an app seem to have been shelved, at least for the minute.

“An app isn’t necessary when there is manual contact tracing” says Mr De Backer.

Contract tracing involves tracking down everybody, who has been in contact with somebody who tests positive for coronavirus. Contacts too will be instructed to self-isolate.

Originally the government seemed to set great store in an app, but that requires at least 60% of the population to download the app onto their smartphone and at the minute that is not seen as feasible. 

“Let’s now invest in contact research to map out how the virus spreads” says the taskforce head.  “If it later emerges that an app can be used, we will do it.”