As the new COVID Tracking App went live this morning it is disappointing to see this is not on an all-island basis.
Cllr Corrigan said “I downloaded the App this morning and already there had been 88,000 check ins by 10.30am. I noticed the statistical information provided Appeared to only cover 26 of our 32 counties.
The App says it is ‘being made available by the Irish Health Service Executive in conjunction with the Irish Department of Health for people across the island of Ireland’. However, Cllr Corrigan said “you can only register as living in your County if you live in one of the nominated 26 counties and you appear to be excluded if you live in any of the remaining 6 counties of Ireland.
“My understanding is that they use Bluetooth technology which could in fact mean that the whole 32 counties could well be covered but what is the point if no-one in the 6 counties registers, and they are certainly not being encouraged to do so?
“This does not bode well” continued Cllr Corrigan “for anyone who lives in a border county or who travels across the border as many people do on a daily basis in this area. I am quite concerned at the obvious flaw in the App. COVID 19 must be tackled with an all-island approach. A virus does not recognise borders, it won’t suddenly stop at Dundalk and I feel the people of Louth are once again being punished and let down simply because of geography.”
Cllr Corrigan is calling on the HSE and Department of Health to enhance or modify the App to ensure that it does what is being promised. “If we are serious about tackling this virus, then we need to get serious about the tools we use and ensure they are fit for purpose. My fear is that if people, especially in border counties, have this App it may lull them into a false sense of security as the data will be incomplete at best.”