TOKYO: Japan’s health ministry said Friday that it has started issuing codes to people infected with the novel coronavirus, completing the final stage in the rollout of its new contact-tracing smartphone app.
Those testing positive for the virus will now be informed of their codes by their local public health centers. When a code is entered into the Cocoa app on a patient’s smartphone, other app users who potentially had close contact with the patient will be notified of this.
Notifications will be sent to users who were within a meter of the patient for at least 15 minutes in the previous 14 days.
The app will ask such people about their health condition and urge them to undergo testing. The data on the app is encrypted, ensuring that others will not be able to identify the virus patient.
“The whole system has started working,” health minister Katsunobu Kato said in a press conference, urging more people to install the tracking app.