New campaign to increase take-up of contact tracing app

A new campaign is to be launched to increase take-up of Belgium’s coronavirus contact tracing app. At present too few people have downloaded the app for it to be truly effective in tracing people that have been in contact with those found to be infected with coronavirus. The news that effort to increase take-up of the app are to be redoubled was announced by the woman in charge of contact tracing in Belgium Karine Moykens during an online press briefing. 

Currently 2.5 million people have downloaded the Coronalert app. This is just over a quarter of all people in Belgium that have a smartphone. However, recent data has shown that only around a third of those that test positive for coronavirus share this information via the app.

Mr Moykens told the press briefing “If you have tested positive you need to go into the app and click on the button to inform your high-risk contacts”. This is completely anonymous, and no one will know that it is you that has tested positive. Everyone that you have been near to for a significant amount of time will be sent a message by the app informing them that someone they have been in close contact with has tested positive for coronavirus.

Just 37% of people that test positive share this information via the app. “37% is of course not enough”, Ms Moykens said. As a result of this the government is to launch a campaign to promote the use of the Coronalert app.

Karin Moykens added that widespread use of the app will become especially important as and when the current coronavirus restrictions are relaxed.

“If you then use public transport or for example go to a sporting or cultural event the app will certainly be of use. This is why we are working out a communication campaign to raise awareness of the app among the public in the hope that more people will share more data”.


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