Corona warning app goes into sleep mode
The Federal Ministry of Health has announced that the Corona warning app will be put into a dormant state from June. In view of the relaxed situation, it will no longer be needed. However, it should be able to be reactivated quickly in an emergency.
Dormant state from June
The app, which has been downloaded more than 48 million times, was used to track contacts, store electronic vaccination records and determine one’s risk of infection. Positive test results could – and still can until the end of April – be stored in the app. Anyone with the app installed who encountered a person also equipped with the app who had indicated a positive test was warned about this so-called risk contact. In times of 3G, 2G and 2G+ restrictions, the app also served as proof of one’s own vaccination status.
Since the virus has evolved in the direction of a very contagious but comparatively harmless variant and a contagion has taken place, almost all restrictions on everyday life that are still in place have been lifted in recent months. Only in medical facilities and for infected persons are restrictions still in place in some German states. The disease is no longer the focus of public attention, mainly due to the greatly reduced severity as well as the significantly decreased risk of death.
Enormous costs for contact tracing
The federal Ministry of Health recognized all of this and decided not to incur further costs for updates or maintenance of the warning app. Costs of 23 million euros have been budgeted for the months of January through May alone. In full functionality, the app can still be used until the end of April. After that, some functions are to be restricted, which is to be completed by June. From then on, the app can only be used for the electronic verification of one’s own vaccination status. However, it will not be completely discontinued. The Federal Ministry of Health pointed out that the app can be retained and installed on cell phones for emergencies. If, contrary to expectations, there is another pandemic flare-up, the app can be quickly reactivated.
The discontinuation of the app was already decided last year. The chosen period is also related to the end of the current contracts with SAP and Telekom, which developed the app. These had been extended twice and expire at the end of May. The total costs amount to around 220 million euros.
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