Rome (AFP)

The contact tracking application chosen by Italy in its fight to stem the spread of Covid-19 has been downloaded by 500,000 people in 24 hours, which places it at the top of national downloads, writes Corriere della Sera on Wednesday.

"More than 500,000 downloads in 24 hours and the first place in the Italian ranking of the most downloaded applications", writes the first daily on the peninsula.

"It was appreciated for its simplicity and the citizens understood its usefulness", commented the Minister for Innovation Paola Pisano, quoted by the newspaper.

This result is all the more surprising since the application will only be operational from Monday June 8 in four regions which will test it while the other sixteen will follow in principle a week later.

The + Immuni + application was produced by the company Bending Spoons from Milan (north). Created with the support of a medical center, it respects the rules laid down by the European Union, according to the Italian government.

It is based on bluetooth technology and not on geolocation. Everyone is free to download it and has control over their personal data which does not leave the user's phone.

If a person who uses the application discovers that he is positive for Covid-19, it is he who sends his data to a server which goes back in time in order to find his contacts via bluetooth and warn those likely to have it crossed.

The company Bending Spoons has ceded all the rights to use the application, as well as its next updates, to the government for free, the source said.

Italy is one of the countries hardest hit in the world by the Covid-19 pandemic which killed more than 33,500 people for more than 233,599 cases in the peninsula.

© 2020 AFP