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Coronalert available for all

After having been rolled out to more than 10,000 users, the Coronalert application is now accessible to the entire Belgian population. This application is one of the tools used in the fight against Covid-19.

“In the last few weeks, we have been working hard on this application to make it technically ready. Several persons have tested the application intensively. More than 10,000 users have also had the opportunity to use the application in their everyday life for more than one week”, declares Karine Moykens, President of the Interfederal Committee Testing & Tracing.

Comments show that our users give a score of 4 out of 5 to Coronalert and that they are also willing to recommend it to their friends and family. The Great Corona study carried out by the University of Antwerp also indicates that a large majority of participants want to use the application. “These numbers are very encouraging.” Anyone who installs the application helps to keep the virus under control. The more people will download the application, the greater the benefits will be. “Of course, all the other measures, the six golden rules, must also be respected, such as washing hands, keeping a distance, … The application does not replace those rules. We therefore ask the Belgian population to install and use the application. By doing so, we will be able to combat the coronavirus together.”

Contact tracing by phone

The application does not replace the contact tracing by phone. Both systems are complementary and they stimulate each other. “We notice that when people are contacted by the call centre by phone, they only provide a few contacts, those they know or remember. A lot of people also admit that they often don’t remember all of their contacts, and that they sometimes cannot even identify them. The application acts as a reminder by anonymously warning these people about a high-risk contact.”

Green and red screens

The application works with green and red screens. A green screen means that the user is at low risk and that he/she had no high-risk contact. In case of a high-risk contact, the application will display a red screen. Two scenarios are possible. If you have symptoms of coronavirus, the application will advise you to contact your doctor. If you don’t have any symptoms, the application will suggest you to contact the contact centre which will provide more information about being tested.

Anyone who takes the test can receive the result via the app and automatically inform his/her high-risk contacts in case of a positive result. To do so, the general practitioner must indicate the specific test code of the app in the e-form, when prescribing the test. “We therefore ask the users of the application to give their code when they have their first contact with the doctor. By doing so, doctors no longer have to modify the form. We also ask the doctors to inform about the use of the application when they get a test request”, explains Karine Moykens. Anyone who receives a code for a test via the contact centre or by sms can link it to the application code on the website

Trusting the application

Privacy has played an important role in the Coronalert application:

  • The data will not be stored centrally. The application exchanges random codes, but these codes do not allow to identify persons or places.
    If you are informed that you have been in contact with a person with Covid-19, you will not know who it was or where it was. Apple and Google do not keep track of who was in contact with whom.
  • No location information is stored or transmitted. Only Android phones whose operating system has not been updated to version 11 require the activation of location information, but the application does not use this information.

Campaign “Enough ! I active the app”.

As from 1 October, a large national campaign will be carried out on social media and with posters. This campaign is aimed at encouraging the population to install Coronalert. The slogan “Enough ! I active the app” aims at acknowledging that many people are tired of the situation. By activating Coronalert, the citizens can united to defeat the coronavirus. “We all want to see our friends again, meet people, go to the theatre or smile at passengers in trams and busses”, concludes Karine Moykens.

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