US government to introduce coronavirus tracing app as death toll forecast begins to fall

US government to introduce coronavirus tracing app as death toll forecast begins to fall

This is according to a spokesman for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology-led project. The spokesman said on Thursday that the governments plan to sign the deals this week and they will become the first to adopt the app.

An additional 17 state and municipal governments are considering introducing the app in their communities according to the institute.

This could be as soon as within the next two weeks, said Ramesh Raskar, an associate professor at MIT, in an email exchange with Reuters.

“These span all over the country, and include some of the largest US cities to more remote vacation communities looking to protect themselves,” he said.

Raskar declined to specify the states, counties or cities nearing agreements.

Coronavirus app

Three local US governments plan to sign deals to adopt a location tracking app (Image: GETTY)

Masks

The three governments plan to sign the deals this week and they will become the first to adopt the app (Image: GETTY)

However, he said they were expected to advocate for residents to voluntarily download the app, known as Private Kit.

He described the expected deals as a “letter of intent” for collaboration, training and support.

All the while, two Massachusetts cities are planning to compare the performance of Private Kit with health officials asking patients to recall recent contacts from memory, he said.

“There are specific communities where a human-based approach will have benefits and others where the technology enabled platform will provide greater efficiency and accuracy,” Raskar said.

JUST IN: Kate and William gave surprising relationship update during video call

Coronavirus crowd

An additional 17 state and municipal governments are considering introducing the app in their communities according to the institute (Image: getty)

Governments worldwide are evaluating Private Kit or similar technologies.

These are meant to aid the otherwise labor-intensive process of contact tracing, in which health officials must ask recent contacts of a person who has tested positive for the virus to self-quarantine or get tested.

Many European countries have began to use tracing initiatives, following the successful use of app-based systems in some Asian countries such as South Korea.

The NHS tracing app is currently being deveoped in the UK and the free Covid Symptom Tracker app has already been launched.

DON’T MISS
EU warning: Bloc’s future ‘NOT looking good’ after leaders lock horns [Latest]
Premier League stars confirm coronavirus initiative to raise funds [Update]
Premier League stars ready to take legal action over pay cuts [Latest]

Coronavirus

He described the expected deals as a “letter of intent” for collaboration, training and support during the crisis (Image: GETTY)

Masks

Governments worldwide are evaluating Private Kit or similar technologies (Image: GETTY)

The app asks users for medical data including age and information on any existing medical conditions.

It then asks them to report on their health for one minute a day.

However, privacy concerns and technical limitations are among several hurdles the app-based systems face among Americans.

Effective contact tracing will need to be in place before widely lifting the lockdown orders that have crippled the economy worldwide, health experts say.

Social distancing

Social distancing (Image: EXPRESS)

However, US President Donald Trump doesn’t seem to want to wait too long before reopening the economy.

Donald Trump has said he hopes to reopen the economy “with a bang”.

However, his medical advisers are urging the president to put these plans on hold as returning to normal life too early could lead to a second deadly outbreak.

Speaking at a White house news briefing Trump said: “We’re ahead of schedule.”

Masks

Many European countries have began to use tracing initiatives (Image: getty)

He said the economy could be reopened in phases.

However, Trump said he thought “it would be nice to open with a big bang,” but he said: “We have to be on the down side of the slope” of infections and that he will rely heavily on experts in determining how to proceed.

This comes as Dr Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, suggested on Thursday the final death toll in across the US could stop at around 60,000 cases.

Only two weeks ago, Dr Fauci had suggested the fast spread of the novel coronavirus could cost the country as many as 200,000 lives by the time the pandemic was under full control.

Published at Fri, 10 Apr 2020 03:04:00 +0000