How to find out if you had contact with a person with COVID-19


Health and technology are two areas that have gone hand in hand, and with the rise of the pandemic, these ties have only made them closer. And to try to help in this time of COVID-19, some applications were developed precisely to serve as a tool in relation to contagion by the new coronavirus.

This is the case of Coronavirus-SUS, an official application of the Government of the Federal of Brazil whose objective is to warn if you have been in contact with people diagnosed with COVID-19, based on the technology “API Exposure Notification” or Exposure Notification System, developed jointly by Google and Apple.

The app in question is available for Android and iOS devices. In practice, the app alerts you if people who tested positive for the disease were close to you in the past 14 days, based on your location.

It has the following features: information on various topics such as symptoms, how to prevent, what to do in case of suspicion and infection, etc., in addition to an official news area of ​​the Ministry of Health of Brazil focusing on COVID-19 :

The Coronavirus-SUS application brings news and information about COVID-19 (Image: Screenshot / Nathan Vieira / Canaltech)

In addition, the app also features a map indicating nearby health facilities; in case of suspected infection, the user can check if his symptoms are compatible with that of COVID-19, and if they are, he will be instructed and sent to the nearest basic health unit.

However, the main functionality of the application in question is precisely the generation of alerts in case the user encounters someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. This can be seen on the main screen of Coronavirus-SUS, in which the user has the option to enable notifications if this happens. To feed this data, people who test positive for the disease can share this information anonymously. Before the information is included in the app, it is necessary to validate the result of your exam (PCR or serological) on the Valida Coronavirus SUS website.

User can enable notification in case they have seen someone who has COVID-19 or share if they have tested positive (Image: Screenshot / Nathan Vieira / Canaltech)


Another app (still on an experimental basis) with a similar purpose is Dycovid. The startup MAMBA Lab developed, with sponsorship from the Public Ministry of Pernambuco, the Health Department of Pernambuco and Porto Digital, this application, which works by notifying the population about the possibility of contagion according to who they had contact with.

Dycovid analyzes the history of up to 14 days before the result of the COVID-19 infected test is positive. Thus, people who had in the vicinity of the contaminated receive a risk notification, which is classified according to proximity and time of exposure. In all, the app has three degrees of labeling, the highest being for people who have been around for a long time with someone infected.

Like Coronavirus-SUS, Dycovid allows you to notify when the person bumped into someone who tested positive (Image: Screenshot / Nathan Vieira / Canaltech)

For now, the application is operating only in Pernambuco, but it has already helped the government to direct its efforts in combating the pandemic. The idea is to use contact tracing with the ability to use Bluetooth, GPS, Wi-Fi and sound. Thus, the user is able to access risk maps and, periodically, receive notifications if they have been exposed and there are chances of contamination.

Dycovid does not collect any user information and no personal data is added. The privacy system makes it possible for the contact to be identified by the device itself.

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