Linda Huang / Edge columnist
Since the pandemic has continued for almost a year, the Canadian government suggested citizens to download the COVID Alert app, so they can keep up with the latest notifications of COVID-19 cases.
In Brian Hill and Jasmine Pazzano’s article in Global News, it stated that, “96% of Canadians who test positive for coronavirus aren’t using COVID Alert app properly, while the Canadian government said the COVID Alert app was the next great hope in the struggle against the novel coronavirus.”
This app has a strong function to update citizens with the latest cases. It uses Bluetooth to exchange random codes between different phones. As soon as people have tested positive for COVID-19, they could enter a one-time-key in the app. According to Hill and Pazzano’s article in Global News, “one-time key can use to activate the app’s feature and send out exposure notifications to anyone nearby. It will notify people if a user nearby was tested positive in the last 14 days.”
This app is an effective tool to help people stay vigilant during the pandemic. It could help Canadians to keep their communities safer.
In the fall, the number of confirmed cases started surging seriously. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau implored people of all ages, especially young Canadians, to download the app.
He said in Hill and Pazzano’s article, “Young people need to download the COVID Alert app, it’s a way of helping their parents and grandparents. It’s free, it protects privacy, and it helps concretely in combating this virus.”
This app should be used for limiting the spread of the virus. However, according to the Public Health’s data, “only 3.8 percent of roughly 535,000 Canadians who tested positive since the app went live have actually used it to warn others about possible exposure to the virus.”
This means that most of the people who have tested positive could have used the app to warn close contacts. But they either don’t have the app, failed to use it, or didn’t use it properly.
Due to this reason, people nearby couldn’t get the latest update of these new cases. Eventually, it will increase the risk of mutual infections since people don’t get any warnings, which will make the pandemic gets worse.
“When we’re only seeing a small percentage of the population using these apps, they’re essentially completely useless,” said Dr. Craig Jenne.
People should download this app as quickly as possible. As more population start to use this app, the wider the number of people it will cover. When everyone has recorded the status of the confirmed cases, their actual effect will be reflected. Thereby, it could help to reduce the possibility of cross-infection among society.