The App Doesn’t Fall Far From The Tree


This afternoon.

Further to The Irish Examiner‘s front page story earlier that 564,000 people had deleted the HSE Covid-19 response app.

Nama Wine Lake tweetz:

A maximum of 1.17m people are using the Irish Covid19 tracking app.

When the app was launched, the Department of Health of Health said 60% of the population needed to use it for it to be effective (60% of 5m = 3m), though they later said 2.2m. So, we’re just 50% to the minimum needed.

Why have so many people deleted the app?

There were battery and overheating issues.There’s also privacy and the Dept of Social Protection banditry at Dublin Airport which is now to be formally investigated by the Data Protection Commissioner….

Covid tracker app deleted 500,000 times (Cianan brennan, Irish Examiner)

15 thoughts on “The App Doesn’t Fall Far From The Tree

  1. george

    I don’t think babies and young kids are included in the 60% so no 3 million wouldn’t be right.

  2. Brother Barnabas

    I dont think they “later said 2.2m”

    2.2 million is 60% of the estimated 3.6 million smartphone users in Ireland – they just subsequently clarified what was meant

    still, though, well short of that

  3. Cian

    “While some modelling has suggested 60% uptake across the population is required, health officials stressed that few, if any, countries had reached that target. “ The Journal Jul 7th 2020

    “Mr Donnelly said the idea that 60 per cent of a population would need to download it to make the app effective was a “bit misleading”. It was based, he said, on a UK study which said that would be the case where no other forms of contact tracing were in operation.” Irish Times Tue, Jul 7, 2020

    “Mr Reid had said that the target for viability of the app is roughly 60% of the 3.7m-strong adult smartphone market in Ireland, which equates to about 2.2m downloads.” Irish Examiner July 08, 2020

  4. Micko

    I was never really sure how it was intended to work if I’m honest. Especially in a job enviroment.

    If someone tested positive, would that mean that everyone that they were in contact (15 mins+) with for the previous two weeks have to be tested and quarantine before a test was available?

    So if one person test positive in your office – is that the whole place shut down until everyone can be tested?

    1. Cian

      Yes. This is how you stop an infectious disease.

      If you think about it – what happened in March/April was the entire country going into quarantine.

      Many offices are minimising the risk by dividing people into separate teams – and not allowing people from different teams in the same place – so if someone tests positive then it only their team that needs to quarantine. The other team can continue to work.

      Schools are advised to something implement similar – each class is a “bubble” and shouldn’t mix with other classes (corridors, breaktime, entering/leaving school). If one student tests positive you quarantine the class (until they get tested) but the remainder of the school can remain open.

      1. Micko

        Ok cool – Cheers

        Since I’m pretty ignorant of this app, I appreciate the explanation.

        “Separately, the HSE said that of 648 close contact alerts issued to app users since launch, just 349 of those, or 53%, have consented to being contacted by contact tracers.”

        Am I reading this right? Is this saying that only about half of the people contacted about their own possible infection, then didn’t want to let others know that they might be infected?

        Surely that’s a disaster then no?

        1. hansel


          Also apparently people are not presenting for testing, or are presenting with symptoms and refusing to divulge their close contacts, place of employment, etc.
          Particularly among the low-paid and badly-treated workforces (I’m looking squarely at meat production companies). They’re afraid of how their employer will react. Which is a horrible thought.

        2. Cian

          It kinda depends on how it is counted.

          Example: If my partner got a + result, I would also need to be tested – the “contact tracing” is this scenario is trivial.

          Now, we both have the app, so if she pressed the “contact tracing” button on her phone, a while later I’d get a *ping* on my phone my telling me that I may be at risk and do I consent to being contacted for a test. I’d probably decline (as I already know about the +ve result and am already in the system to be tested).

          The app is really designed to catch **other** people that you may not be immediately aware of, or know their contact details.

      2. John Smith

        Re the school bubble system, what if a teacher tests positive, Cian? In senior schools, surely, the teacher would teach more than one class? Even in National Schools, teachers would be likely to be in contact, at least, with other teachers and they could pass it on to their classes.

        I’m not being negative for the sake of it but I must admit that the bubble idea for a whole school sounds all very well in theory but a nightmare to arrange in practice – an idea suggested by someone with no practical experience of how schools have to integrate class/teacher timetables, etc.

        1. Cian

          @John, I don’t know what happens if a teacher tests positive.
          It is possible that in National schools that the teachers aren’t mixing with each other (or are limiting themselves to small groups) – so if one teacher tests positive it won’t close the whole school.

          For Secondary – I don’t know. The kids are older and better able to “social distance” and are wearing masks so possibly this won’t close the school.

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