Many politicians praise the Corona warning app as a great success – German medical officers, on the other hand, see little benefit. As long as data is not automatically forwarded to the health authorities, the app is not of great help.
The medical officers in Germany estimate the use of the corona warning app in the national pandemic fight to be very low. Since the data of the app is not automatically forwarded to the health authorities, the application in its current form is not of great help in quickly fighting corona outbreaks, said the chairwoman of the Federal Association of Doctors in the Public Health Service, Ute Teichert, the newspapers the Funke media group.
Data protection over pandemic protection
The app plays “almost no role” in the daily work of the health authorities, said Teichert. It is extremely rare for an app user to report to the authorities about a warning. Politicians have decided to “put data protection above pandemic protection,” said the public health doctor. You have to accept this.
According to Teichert, it would be helpful if the app had a function with which users could at least voluntarily allow warnings to be passed on directly to the health department. This would mean that the responsible authorities would be informed much faster about cases of infection and could quickly take measures to contain a corona outbreak, she said.
18 million users in Germany
At the moment, however, it is up to the app users whether they report to the health authorities after a registered contact with an infected person. Whether they actually do it cannot be verified.
In view of the rising number of corona infections, the federal government appealed to German citizens on Wednesday to make greater use of the corona warning app. 100 days after the start, more than 18 million users have downloaded the app on their smartphone, it said.
Spahn and Braun: a “great success”
The responsible minister, Jens Spahn, admitted that only about half of the users with a positive corona test would actually report the result via their smartphone. Nevertheless: Chancellery chief Helge Braun and Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (both CDU) praised the application, which is intended to warn users when they come into contact with someone infected with corona, as a great success. With 18 million downloads, the application was downloaded as much as in all other EU countries combined.
The app communicates with other smartphones via Bluetooth. If a user tests positive for the coronavirus, the application issues an alarm to those users who have come so close to the infected person for a certain time that they could have become infected. After an alarm, users should contact the health department and do a test themselves. Use of the app is voluntary.
With information from Kai Küstner, ARD capital studio