The Finnish Koronavilkku application, which helps to break chains of coronavirus infection, has already been downloaded over 2 million times. The milestone of 2 million downloads was reached two weeks after the application became available for download in app stores.
‘We all now have a genuine opportunity to help break the chains of infection, because so many of us have started using Koronavilkku. In addition to this, we must remember to prevent the spread of coronavirus by, for example, maintaining good hand hygiene and safety distances and using face masks the recommended way,’ says Aleksi Yrttiaho, Director of Information Services at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare.
Koronavilkku downloads in numbers and as a proportion of the total population in Finland.
Infection notifications already sent by 218 Koronavilkku users
So far, 218 Koronavilkku users have sent an infection notification. Users can report that they have been infected by entering a single-use unlock code that the application user receives from a healthcare professional responsible for infection tracing. The application then passes this information on to those who may have been exposed to the infection.
The unlock code is only given to a person with a laboratory-confirmed coronavirus infection. The unlock code is used to ensure that the Koronavilkku warnings are only based on proven infections. The recipients and the sender of the warning are not informed of each other’s identity.
Between 1 September and 15 September 2020, 35% of the people diagnosed with coronavirus infections used the application to report the infection.
Koronavilkku speeds up the process of reaching people exposed to the virus and breaking the infection chains. The more people download the application, the greater the benefit it provides. Finland has reached its current wide population coverage faster than any other European country.
‘It is easy to be proud of Finns, because here we are setting an example for the rest of the world. We Finns have shown that we can take responsibility together for breaking the chains of infection. Our next goal is to further increase the application’s coverage,’ explains Risto Kaikkonen, Director of the Health and Wellbeing Division at Solita.
Phone settings affect receipt of exposure warnings
Koronavilkku works on newer smartphones which have the Exposure Notifications interface created by Apple and Google. The phone model and operating system may affect the functionality of the application. The following phone settings should be checked when using Koronavilkku.
Check that the application’s exposure log is updating. You can check this by selecting ‘No observed exposures’ on the Koronavilkku home screen. If the ‘Last checked’ date is more than 24 hours ago, try the following:
- iPhone: Update the operating system to 13.7 and/or check in your phone’s settings under Exposure Notifications that the active area is the National Institute for Health and Welfare / Finland (rather than “Koronavilkku”).
- On some phones (especially Oneplus), the phone automatically turns off Bluetooth connections at night. This is due to a battery optimisation setting, and it is recommended that you turn it off.
If the problem persists, you can send feedback to [email protected] Please note, however, that you cannot use email to send a service request or to ask detailed questions on using the application.
The Koronavilkku.fi/en website contains information on the application and how to start using it.
Application information and download instructions:
- Aleksi Yrttiaho, Director of Information Services, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), Tel. +358 29 524 7671, [email protected]
- Risto Kaikkonen, Director, Health and Wellbeing Division, Solita, +358 41 536 8745, [email protected]
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