!-- 634c7aa55dca3b282b7c80846a1dd8060284ae7f -->

Editor’s point of view: the new contacts tracking app will be innovative and a great success if we all play our part and don’t get complacent

There is welcome news that a new mobile contact tracking app will be launched here next week, and may potentially avoid the need for further locks. However, it can only succeed if a large number of people use it.

the StopCOVIDNI app. has already been hailed as a “world first”, and while the technical details are complex, some details are detailed in our news article in today’s newspaper. One of the attractions is the app’s ability to work across national borders, as well as the ability to anonymously alert users if they have been in close contact with another user who has tested positive for the corona virus.

In addition to the good news, the new app will be compatible with the contact tracking service in the Republic of Ireland and is expected to work with the app already created by the NHS in the UK. The server will also allow this app to work in those European countries that have a tracing service in the same format.

The Republic of Ireland launched its tracing app earlier this month, but the welcome news for us is that Northern Ireland is the first part of the UK to launch the app.

Much praise is due to Dan West, the chief digital information officer at our Department of Health and Dr. Eddie O’Neill, the product manager of the app.

It’s okay to have this app, but the real test is how many people are willing to use it, and if enough isn’t enough to do this, the whole exercise will go down.

The people of Northern Ireland have generally been very responsible for responding to the measures taken to deal with the pandemic, but one of the major dangers now is to assume that the worst is over and that we drop our watch.

It is vital that we embrace any initiative that will help turn the tide against Covid-19, especially when so many medical and other experts are warning us of the possibility of a second wave of the virus in the fall and winter.

We must all make StopCOVIDNI a success.