SLU govt, opposition encourage use of contact tracing app
The Government of Saint Lucia says it applauds the Ministry of Health’s continued use of technology in the fight against COVID-19 as it announces the launch of the “758 Care Alert” app to boost contact tracing efforts by the Department of Health and Wellness.
In a statement, the Government in Castries says it has been utilizing monitoring devices such as the Amber Solution Watch and the BioIntelliSense Button to help health authorities manage and monitor the national COVID-19 response and welcomes the “758 Care Alert” app for citizens to actively join the fight.
Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has continuously praised the contact tracing team who have engaged in extensive and comprehensive contact tracing to help contain the spread of the virus throughout the island. The “758 Care Alert” app will assist contact tracers by using data alongside the individual’s memory to determine their locations in the last 14 days prior to their diagnosis.
The Government of Saint Lucia is encouraging citizens to download the App which is available on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.
The Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP), meanwhile, says it is pleased that the Government has “finally taken its advice” to develop and launch a contact tracing app to help in the fight against COVID-19.
In an address to the nation on January 28, 2021, Opposition Leader Philip J Pierre reiterated his call for the use of technology in allowing for a more efficient reporting of test results, contact tracing, and monitoring of individuals.
The rollout of the new ‘758 Care Alert’ app was announced earlier this week by the Ministry of Health and Wellness. The app was originally announced by the ministry in December of last year.
“We encourage Saint Lucians to download the “758 Care Alert” mobile app from Google and Apple Stores in order to assist health officials in carrying out their duties,” Communications Officer for the SLP, Maundy Lewis said Monday.
“We trust that data privacy and data issues are properly addressed as indicated by the Ministry.
“The Government would do well by implementing more of the recommendations in the Hon Philip J Pierre’s 7-Point Rescue Plan, which, if instituted, would allow for the protection of Saint Lucian lives and livelihoods,” Lewis added.
According to the Government, “Having the App on one’s phone has several benefits:
- Creates a private location diary for users by documenting places visited, 14 days at a time.
- If diagnosed, one can choose to share their location with the Ministry of Health’s contact tracing team so they can inform others who may have crossed paths with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
- Allows exposed individuals to receive notifications on whether they may have crossed paths with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
- The information is private and sharing the location history is the decision of the phone user. To access all the benefits of the app, one must read and accept the licensing agreement.
The Government of Saint Lucia is committed to ensuring safety and encourages all Saint Lucians to download the app to join the fight against the spread of COVID-19. [LOOP St Lucia]