Coronavirus: More than 100 people told to isolate by tracing app

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Contact appImage source, PA Media

More than 100 people have been advised to self isolate by Scotland's new contact tracing app, Nicola Sturgeon has revealed.

Protect Scotland became available to download free on to a smart phone from Apple's App Store or Google Play on 10 September.

Since then more than one million people have downloaded the app.

It lets people know if they have been in close contact with someone who later tests positive for Covid-19.

During First Minister's Questions, Ms Sturgeon urged those who had not already done so to download the app.

She told Holyrood: "One million is already a big enough number for us to know that the app can make a difference and I can advise that more than 100 people have been advised to isolate as a result of using it."

The Scottish government said that more than 300 people who have tested positive for Covid-19, and have the app, have now been issued with a test code that allows them to alert other app users about their test result.

Up until now, contact tracing has been done manually using a method followed for years to help control the spread of infectious diseases.

Last week some iPhone users have reported not being able to download the app because they are not running iOS 13.

The iPhone 6 and older models launched before 2015 cannot run Apple's latest operating system.

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Android phone users will also need to be running at least the Android 6.0 operating system, which was launched in 2015, the website says.

Research by Ofcom from 2017 suggested that about 3.2m adults in Scotland owned a smartphone.

How does the app work?

The new app uses Bluetooth technology to alert users if they have been in prolonged close contact with someone who subsequently tests positive for Covid-19.

When an individual initially tests positive for the virus, they are contacted by phone in the usual way.

The contact tracer will ask them if they are an app user and if they are willing to use the app's upload function to anonymously alert close contacts.

If they agree, they will be sent a unique code to their mobile which unlocks this function on the app.

By sharing their positive test result in this way, the information will form part of an anonymous database.

The app on other users' phones regularly checks this database to see if they have been in contact with an infected person.

A warning is automatically issued when a match is found and users are then urged to self-isolate for 14 days.