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Data Covid-19 contact tracing apps

This data below is part of a cross-border investigation into corona-tech, called ‘Spooky Mayfly’. Journalists Dorien Vanmeldert, Tim Verheyden, and Bart Aerts (Belgium), Manon Dillen and Daan Marselis (The Netherlands), Markus Sehl (Germany), Simon Auffret (France) contributed to this research. Articles based on this data have been published in Le Monde, VRT, Die Zeit and NOS.

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TABLE 1: included countries, apps, and the timeframe used in the investigation

Country Name of app Launch date Information starting date end date
Austria Stopp Corona 25-3-2020 25-3-2020 04-05-2021
Belgium CoronAlert 30-9-2020 30-9-2020 17-05-2021
Croatia Stop COVID-19 27-07-2020 27-07-2020 13-05-2021
Czech Republic eRouška 15-5-2020 15-5-2020 18-5-2021
Denmark Smittestopp 18-06-2020 18-06-2020 09-05-2021
Estonia HOIA 20-08-2020 20-08-2020 18-05-2021
Finland Koronavilkku 31-08-2020 31-08-2020 18-02-2021
France TousAntiCovid 02-06-2020 02-06-2020 16-5-2021
Germany Corona-Warn-App 15-06-2020 15-06-2020 4-5-2021
Hungary VirusRadar 13-05-2020 13/5/2020 27/9/2020
Ireland COVID Tracker 7/7/2020 7/7/2020 18-5-2021
Italy Immuni 30-10-2020 30-10-2020 01-05-2021
Latvia Apturi Covid 29-05-2020 29-05-2020 16-04-2021
Lithuania Korona Stop LT 06-11-2020 06-11-2020 10-05-2021
Malta COVID-Alert 18-09-2020 18-09-2020 22-4-2021
Netherlands CoronaMelder 10-10-2020 30-11-2020 11-5-2021
Norway Smittestopp 21-12-2020 21-12-2020 18-5-2021
Poland ProteGO Safe 09-06-2020 09-06-2020 20-03-2021
Portugal StayAway COVID 1-9-2020 1-9-2020 17-05-2021
Republic of Cyprus CovTracer-EN 11-3-2021 11-3-2021 31-3-2021
Slovenia #OstaniZdrav 18-08-2020 18-08-2020 11-02-2021
Spain Radar Covid 06-08-2020 06-08-2020 18-05-2021
Switzerland SwissCovid 25-06-2020 25-06-2020 4-5-2021

With regard to data about the Dutch CoronaMelder-app, we chose to start data collection on a different data than the official launch date of the app. During the first weeks of the CoronaMelder-app, users who received a warning message in the app, were not allowed to get tested. We collected data from the moment this restriction was lifted. The total download-numbers are counted since the introduction of the app (October 10, 2020)

On Average, the timeframe used to collect information is 248 days. Up-time of the apps averages to 278 days, with the Austrian app running 420 days, and the app of Cyprus running for 69 days.

 

TABLE 2: uptake of the contact tracing apps apps

Country Downloads Download % Active users Active users %
Ireland 2.520.000 51% 1.300.000 52%
Finland 2.300.000 41%    
Denmark 2.285.571 39%    
Germany 27.400.000 33%    
Switzerland 3.083.718 32% 1.780.000 58%
Portugal 3.100.000 30% 870.000 28%
Netherlands 4.881.159 28%    
France 16.131.834 24%    
Belgium* 2.735.000 24%    
Estonia 276.322 21%    
Malta 99.329 19%    
Norway 1.012.700 19%    
Slovenia 371.246 18%    
Italy 10.443.641 17%    
Latvia 316.000 17%    
Spain 7.345.988 16%    
Austria 1.400.000 16%    
Czech Republic 1.656.495 16%    
Lithuania 300.000 11%    
Poland 1.918.763 5%    
Croatia 91.864 2%    
Hungary 75.000 1%    
Republic of Cyprus 7.723 1%    

In total, almost 90 million (89.752.353) people downloaded the app. That is 22% of people living in European that have introduced a contact tracing app.

Downloads is the total number of downloads until the ‘end date’ (see table 1). Numbers are based on numbers provided by the contact tracing apps themselves (many have a sections with basic statistics), provided by the government, or collected through local newsmedia. Due to the method of data-collection, the total number of downloads may differ from the current daily numbers.

Downloads % is the percentage of people in a country that downloaded the app.

Active users refer to the number of downloaded apps that are still operational. For the apps to work, users need to enable Bluetooth. App developers can check app if the contact tracing app is up and running by sending a signal to the app. Only Switzerland and Ireland do this on a daily basis. In Portugal the number of ’active users’ is calculated the same way, said developer Rui Oliveira in an email. Estimated users in Portugal hit 45% (around 1,5 million users), but is now down to 870.000 users (28% of total downloads).

*) The Belgian government also released how many people with a smartphone downloaded the app. This number is 30%

TABLE 3: total number of infections during the investigated timeframe

Country Total infections in timeframe
Austria 619.529
Belgium 914.427
Croatia 343.277
Czech Republic 1.644.721
Denmark 245.888
Estonia 125.273
Finland 44.123
France 5.529.053
Germany 3.425.982
Hungary 20.673
Ireland 230.501
Italy 3.500.000
Latvia 110.270
Lithuania 168.918
Malta 27.462
Netherlands 1.009.789
Norway 67.350
Poland 2.009.540
Portugal 837.457
Republic of Cyprus 6.495
Slovenia 177.379
Spain 3.285.646
Switzerland 659.974

The amount of infections during the timeframe is based on government sources, and were those were not available, on the number of infections provided by the Johns Hopkins University, and historic infection rates on Worldometer.

Total number of infections during the investigated period was 25.003.727.

 

TABLE 4: Notifications sent

Country Notifications sent Notifications sent %
Denmark 67.524 27%
Finland 11.000 25%
Netherlands 125.918 12%
Germany 424.067 12%
Ireland 15.580 7%
France 308.314 6%
Estonia 6.785 5%
Czech Republic 81.664 5%
Norway 3.262 5%
Latvia 4.015 4%
Belgium 27.200 3%
Lithuania 4.350 3%
Austria 13.000 2%
Spain 61.988 2%
Slovenia 1.047 1%
Portugal 3.137 0,4%
Italy 11.300 0,3%
Poland 4.728 0,2%
Croatia 70 0%

Notifications sent relates to people who received a positive test result (they are infected with the virus) and chose to use the contact tracing app to warn others.

Notifications sent % is the total number of infected people that used the app to notify others, benchmarked against the total number of infections during the investigated period (see table 1).

The numbers are based on government data, data provided by the contact tracing apps or news reports in local media.

In total, more than 1,1 million (1.175.650) people used the app to warn others of a possible health risk. This is 5% of the 25 million people that – during the investigated time frame – were diagnosed with covid-19.

TABLE 5:  Number of tests performed after receiving a notification in the app

Country Notifications sent Requested tests Positive tests …without symptoms
Netherlands 125.918 158.225 10.901 3.825
Denmark 67.524 104.753 955

This table gives an indication of the result of the contact tracing apps as a warning mechanism.

In The Netherlands citizens are required to fill in a basic questionaire when making a test-appointment. One of the questions is: ‘Do you wish to get tested because you received a notification via the app’. In Denmark the government used a survey.

In The Netherlands 7% of the people that received a warning message in the app AND than got tested, turned out to be infected. In the Netherlands, 3.825 asymptomatic people that decided to get tested after receiving a notification in the app, were diagnosed with the virus.

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