Japan Releases Smartphone App to Track COVID-19 Contact

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Tokyo, June 19 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government began on Friday offering a smartphone app that alerts users of close contact with people infected with the novel coronavirus.

The Cocoa app is aimed at preventing the spread of the virus by urging users with infection risks to get tested as soon as possible.

"An increase in the number of users will help prevent infections, so I would like everyone to use it actively," health minister Katsunobu Kato said of the app at a press conference the same day.

When users who have installed the app on their smartphones are located within a meter of each other for 15 minutes or more, their devices will exchange information of the encounter via the Bluetooth wireless technology and record it for 14 days.

When a user is confirmed to be infected with the coronavirus, the local public health center will issue a code that the user can enter on the app. A server will gather information on the individual's encounters with other users, and notify them via the app that they had been in close contact with the infected patient.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press