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NIPH discontinues Smittestopp app
Smittestopp, a mobile app that notified close contacts of possible infection, was launched in a new version in December 2020. The app has been downloaded over 1.3 million times. After the recommendation for self-testing and to notify close contacts was removed, in March the NIPH encouraged users to switch off the app. Meanwhile, users were encouraged to retain it on their phone so that it could be quickly switched on again.
"The main reason for now closing Smittestopp is that testing and contact tracing are no longer appropriate or probable future measures. The population is well protected against a severe disease course. Then it is right to cut costs and discontinue solutions that are no longer useful," says Gun Peggy Knudsen, Assistant Director-General at the NIPH.
Several European countries are disconnecting from the solution
In addition, several European countries have disconnected from the European solution with notification of infection across national borders.
"For us, there was previously a benefit to still be able to use the app when travelling abroad. When many countries have disconnected, the benefit of having the app on the phone becomes less important," says Gun Peggy Knudsen.
Users can delete the app
From Wednesday 10 August, Smittestopp will be removed from the App Store and Google Play. All users can delete the app from their phone.
"This type of digital notification of close contacts can be a potentially useful and easy tool. Tests we have performed showed that Smittestopp detected 93 per cent of all close contacts of someone who was infected, given that all close contacts used the app. Therefore, we will continue to assess how this type of technological solution can contribute to the least invasive measures possible, also in the case of new epidemics," says Gun Peggy Knudsen.
Smittestopp was available in 8 languages - English, Arabic, Lithuanian, Polish, Somali, Tigrinya and Urdu in addition to Nynorsk and Bokmål.