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Koronavilkku hits 2.5m downloads: THL

Published : 29 Oct 2020, 20:53

Updated : 29 Oct 2020, 21:07

  DF News Desk

DF File Photo.

The usage rate of the mobile application Koronavilkku that traces COVID-19 exposure has reached "world record level," the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) said on Thursday, noting that this is one of the reasons behind the decline in the country's infection rate.

To date, two and a half million people have installed the app on their mobile phones, which qualifies as a world record, said Mika Salminen, a director at the THL, at a press conference on Thursday, reported Xinhua.

Developed jointly by the THL, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and other government agencies, this app does not automatically contact the health authorities but notifies the users to their potential exposure to coronavirus. It alerts them if an infected person has been in their vicinity for at least 15 minutes.

According to Salminen, the app is one of the reasons why the COVID-19 situation is better in Finland than in most other European countries currently. Other factors are that the infection level in Finland was better during the summer than elsewhere in Europe; the number of tests conducted is high by European standards; and contact tracing is effective.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health on Thursday said the infection rate appeared to be levelling off in the country. The occurrence rate and the share of tests returning positive results have remained unchanged for two weeks now. The "R-rate" in Finland is now somewhat above 1, which means that each infected person will pass the virus on to one other person on average.