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Plan needed to help elderly download COVID-19 Tracker App – Nestor

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*Cllr Mark Nestor. Photograph: Eamon Ward

A campaign to encourage the uptake of elderly people downloading the COVID-19 tracker app has been suggested by Clare’s youngest politician.

Latest figures issued to The Clare Echo by the HSE have revealed that over 1.53m people have completed the app onboarding process. “The breakdown by age is not possible,” a spokesperson told The Clare Echo.

Android users’ phone batteries were running down quicker than usual as a result of the app. The HSE has confirmed they are working with Google and the app developers to fix the issue.

Complimenting officials responsible for more than one million people downloading the app, Cllr Mark Nestor (FF) flagged that issues remain with the technology. “From speaking to people, there are issues that people have, will we see a campaign being done to increase the uptake, there are a number of older people who aren’t as savvy as others with the technology, is there any plan in place to help them download the app,” he questioned.

Security concerns persist with the app according to the Ennis representative who asked officials with UL Hospitals Group at a recent meeting of Clare County Council what has been done to ease fears relating to privacy and data.

Director of Public Health with HSE Mid-West, Dr Mai Mannix detailed that contacting people over the phone remains the primary way in which health officials are conducting contact tracing. “We can emphasise around the security that no names or demographic details are stored on the app or centrally,” she stated.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, TheJournal.ie and The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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