Shoppers in Belarus get access to New Zealand's coronavirus tracking app

Shoppers in Belarus get access to New Zealand's coronavirus tracking app
A New Zealand-based company has launched a coronavirus tracking app in Belarus
By bne IntelliNews June 25, 2020

As businesses re-open their doors across Belarus, they have help from a contact-tracing app based on New Zealand’s successful coronavirus (COVID-19) Tracer app, Kontakkt Space, it was announced in a press release on June 24.

Widely credited for helping New Zealand reach zero active cases, the app gave each shop a unique QR code to display at the entrance. Shoppers scan and walk in, instead of standing in line to write their details in a notebook by hand. If a case of the virus is identified, health authorities can quickly trace all visitors to a location.

Re-opening the country on June 8, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said: "While we're in a safer, stronger position, there's still no easy path back to pre-COVID life, but the determination and focus we have had on our health response will now be vested in our economic rebuild."

An Auckland company has now released an app for Belarus based on the NZ coronavirus (COVID-19) tracer. Called “Kontakkt Space”, it lets business owners and shoppers sign in with end-to-end encryption of the QR code. “Visitors check in themselves, and the owner can get an alert on their phone for every walk-in if they choose to.” said Saikat G., one of the developers, on the phone from Auckland. “Users’ data stays on their phone and auto-deletes itself, unless there is a case of COVID-19 at that location. If that happens, every previous visitor is alerted to isolate themselves in time.”

Business owners can include a link to their own websites or social media with the QR code, and the developers hope this will encourage them to continue using the app once things return to normal.

“I don’t have the budget for any fancy contact-tracing software,” says a retailer who re-opened his boutique on the main street last week. “And most of my customers couldn’t be bothered about signing a register, or submitting their data to a stranger.”

“I like that my personal data stays on my phone,” said a housewife walking her 8-year-old son to the hairdresser. “There’s no reason to submit personal details to the shops I visit, and my phone will only buzz if a case of COVID-19 is detected. That makes me feel safe.”