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Apple and Google roll out first version of COVID-19 contact tracing tools to developers

Apple and Google will share additional information with these developers, which will also include a sample code for developers to understand how the exposure notification system will work.

April 30, 2020 / 01:47 PM IST

Apple has rolled out the first version of its coronavirus exposure notification API in a new beta update of iOS 13.5. The new API is a part of Apple’s COVID-19 contact tracing tool with Google.

The new API is available in the two beta updates that Apple rolled out last night to developers alongside the release of Xcode 11.5. This Xcode release includes an updated version of the iOS SDK that incorporates the exposure notification API, reported 9to5Mac.

Both companies have also released the first seeds of the exposure notification API to public health authority developers to collect feedback on how to improve the API ahead of its slated release in mid-May.

Google, too, has rolled out a new beta of its Google Play Services with the exposure notification API and an accompanying SDK to select developers. Apple and Google will share additional information with these developers, which will also include a sample code for developers to understand how the exposure notification system will work.

Earlier in April, Apple and Google announced a joint collaboration to help prevent the spread of coronavirus with the use of a contact tracing tool that will use Bluetooth technology to track and identify people in contact with an infected person.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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When two people are in a close proximity, the devices will share an anonymous identifier. If an individual is tested COVID-19 positive, the device will transmit a list of people the user came in contact with and alert them.

While the first version will require a software update for iPhones and a download from the Google Play Store for Android devices, Apple and Google plan to deeply integrate the second phase of the project in their respective operating system.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Apr 30, 2020 01:47 pm

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