COVID Alert SA app users are South Africa’s new superheroes. They are building a powerful, life-saving network of anonymous people and turning their smartphones into shields that help to protect everyone in the country from COVID-19.
COVID Alert SA app users understand their exposure to COVID‑19 and help others to do the same, ultimately saving lives – sometimes the lives of people they have never met before, and whose identities they will never know. That’s because app users remain completely anonymous at all times.
The COVID Alert SA app uses Bluetooth contact-tracing technology to let people know if they have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19. It gives everyone the chance to understand their exposure to the virus, so that we can protect every member of the community, especially those most at risk. It is an important tool to combatting the epidemic, which can help slow the spread of the virus and save lives. Anyone in South Africa who has a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone can access this app.
Like many countries the world over, South Africa’s National Department of Health has used Apple and Google’s exposure notification framework to build our new COVID Alert SA app. App users’ privacy and security are core to the framework.
- COVID Alert SA app is one of various offerings that form part of COVIDConnect – the South African government’s official COVID‑19 digital support service that launched on 17 July 2020.
COVID Alert SA app is a free app that helps us to protect each other from contracting COVID‑19. The app is available to any person in South Africa.
- Downloading the app is quick and easy – it’s under 3 MB in size.
- The app is free to access and does not feature in-app purchases.
- You will not have to pay for mobile data when you use the app – the data to use the app has been zero-rated by all of South Africa’s mobile network providers.
How is COVID ALERT SA like the Uber, Waze, Google Maps or other similar apps?
You may be familiar with other so-called ‘crowd-sourcing’ apps that rely on user-generated information that is (often anonymously) shared with other app users for the good of all. Map and traffic information apps like Waze and Google Maps or Uber and Airbnb are some examples of this sort of app technology. They ask users to feed information on traffic, the quality of an Uber driver’s service, or of Airbnb accommodation back into the system, and other app users can make better decisions based on the community’s feedback.
The COVID Alert SA app works in the same way. The app asks users to choose to anonymously share that they have contracted COVID‑19, and this information is used to inform other app users of their potential exposure to the disease so that they can act to protect their loved ones and others. The more people who download and use the app each day, the better the quality of protective information accessible to all app users becomes.
COVID Alert SA app helps to slow the spread of COVID‑19 and mitigate the effects of the pandemic on South Africa’s society and economy. The more people download and use the app, the more powerful it becomes in sharing accurate information with other app users.
Why should you be using the COVID Alert SA app? How do you benefit?
By downloading and using the COVID Alert SA app, you become a part of a powerful digital network of app users who choose to work together for the benefit of everyone in the app community while all enjoying complete privacy and anonymity. App users understand their exposure to COVID‑19 and help others to do the same.
As a COVID Alert SA app user you:
- Understand your COVID‑19 exposure risk. When app users with whom you have had recent close contact anonymously report that a test has shown they have COVID‑19 (to the app), you soon receive an exposure notification alert so that you know you’ve had contact with someone who has COVID‑19.
- Are guided as to the next steps you should take. People who have been potentially exposed to COVID‑19 are encouraged to self-quarantine and; therefore, help to curb the further spread of the virus.
- Keep your loved ones and those in your wider community safe from COVID‑19 – particularly those who are considered to be in the high-risk category for severe illness if they contract COVID‑19 (such as those who live with chronic illness, who are immunocompromised, cancer survivors and people older than 60).
- Ultimately contribute to avoiding a resurgence of COVID‑19 in South Africa, protecting South Africa’s healthcare services and vulnerable people, and ending the pandemic.
To find out more, read our article on how the COVID Alert SA app works step by step.
It’s clear that by joining other COVID Alert SA app users, we join powerful community of people who want to work together to stay safe, save lives and turn the tide on COVID-19 in South Africa. The power is in our hands. Let’s join the COVID Alert SA app community today and play our part in keeping one another safe.