Within more than two weeks, approximately fourteen thousand users of the CoronaMelder app have announced via the app that they have tested positive for the corona virus. Minister Hugo de Jonge (Health, Welfare and Sport) said this in the Senate on Monday during the debate on the corona law.
According to De Jonge, the app has been downloaded more than 3.5 million times since it was used nationally on October 10. That does not necessarily mean that just as many Dutch people use the app.
Using CoronaMelder, smartphones can exchange signals with smartphones of other app users. Those contacts are recorded in unique, anonymous codes. This creates a log of people who have been around each other.
If someone later turns out to be infected, he or she can warn his or her contacts of the past days together with the GGD. The recipients are then advised to stay at home and to have themselves tested in case of complaints. The app should help to relieve the pressure on the source and contact investigation of the GGDs.
On Monday, education minister Arie Slob received a report via the CoronaMelder during a debate in the Lower House. A close employee turned out to have tested positive. Slob received a message about this from his employees, but he also received a notification via the app. The consultations were then suspended because the minister – who had no complaints himself – had to be quarantined immediately.