‘A quarter of Finland’ downloads coronavirus track and trace app

THL says the best possible feedback they could have is the number of people who now have the app on their phones.

File picture of Koronavilkku app / Credit: News Now Finland

The new Koronavilkku Covid-19 track and trace mobile app has now been downloaded 1.4 million times since its launch on Monday morning: the equivalent to 25% of the entire Finnish population.

“I think that if nearly 1.4 million devices has this app, that’s the best feedback that we can get. People have been ready to use it, ready to download it, and they have been able to do that quite easily” explains Aleksi Yrttiaho, Director of Information Management at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare THL.

“The app store ratings are quite good as well, but there are though people who can’t get the application because they have a phone that doesn’t support the Google and Apple notification system” or operating systems that can’t be upgraded to the latest version, he tells News Now Finland.

“For quite a few people it’s been a disappointment that they’ve been waiting for the application but they can’t get it because they don’t have a suitable phone” Yrttiaho adds.

One problem that will be ironed out in the coming weeks is that Android phones do ask for access to location data during the installation process. Aleksi Yrttiaho says this is something specific to Google, and stresses that Koronavilkku is anonymous, and entirely voluntary to use. No data is stored by authorities about where someone goes with their phone.

“If you’ve been exposed to Covid-19 you’re at risk of infecting others as well, and if we can get this message faster to people who might be infected then we can reduce the number of infections” he says.

The Koronavilkku app is only available in Finnish and Swedish at present but there are plans to add other languages during the autumn.