Expatica news

Half a million downloads for Swiss pandemic tracing app

The SwissCovid tracing app for Swiss residents has been downloaded by more than half a million people during its first day of operation. 

The contact tracing system, which was officially launched on Thursday, aims to prevent the spread of the virus while guaranteeing privacy and control over personal data for users. 

“On 25 June, the number of active SwissCovid apps was 570,000 (rounded to nearest 10,000),” said the Swiss Federal Statistical Office on Friday. The exact number was 566,894. 

There are eight million residents in Switzerland. 

The app can be downloaded on smartphones after parliament passed a legal amendment to govern its use and data protection. It is available from the Apple App and Google Play stores for the public to test it. 

This concludes an experimental test phase which, since May 25, has involved 15,000 users in the federal administration, the army, hospitals and the federal technology institutes. They were recruited to test the app’s functionality and safety. 

Fears had earlier been raised in some quarters over data privacy concerns. 

Rise in cases 

On Friday, the number of new Covid-19 infections rose by 58, the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) said. The number has been gradually rising during the course of the week with 18 cases on Monday, and 44 by Wednesday.  

Canton Zurich said on Friday that it had seen a rise among the 20-40 age group in particular. It said it was not a dramatic rise, but one that needed to be observed. 

The number of tests carried out in Switzerland had also risen: it was 48,000 last week (Monday to Sunday), up 13,000 on the previous week, the FOPH said. 

According to the FOPH, the increase in tests is to do with the easing of test criteria, routine testing of certain patients and cantonal contact tracing.