Abu Dhabi has introduced an app for COVID-19 contact tracing – an effective intervention method to control the outbreak of infectious disease. TraceCovid app, available for free download, will help to identify people who may have come into contact with an infected patient.
Once downloaded, the user will receive a one-time password for verification from Weqaya, which is managed by the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority.
The app can function only on a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone. Once the user is outdoors, the Bluetooth on the phone will scan and detect another smartphone with the same installed app.
For example, inside a supermarket, when two people with the same app are near to each other, then an encrypted Secure Tracing Identifier (STI) is exchanged between their phones. The data gets stored on each phone. The STI will be a list of all persons who were in close contact with the user.
Once someone is known to be infected, the official authorities will call and request for list of STI to be shared with them, which will provide exact information to carry out contact tracing.
Also, a user who has tested positive can contact authorities to share details of STI, which will immediately help to break the chain.