French PM: No Covid app for me

Bangkok Post - - WORLD -

PARIS: The French govern­ment may be push­ing for peo­ple to down­load its Covid-19 con­tact-trac­ing app, but when asked on Thurs­day whether he had done so, Prime Min­is­ter Jean Cas­tex said he had not be­cause he did not take the metro.

The app was launched at the start of June to much fan­fare from the govern­ment, but three months later only 2.4 mil­lion peo­ple out of a 67 mil­lion pop­u­la­tion have down­loaded it.

Mr Cas­tex, who was forced to iso­late ear­lier this month af­ter be­ing in con­tact with some­one who had been tested pos­i­tive for the virus, ad­mit­ted he had not down­loaded the app.

“I push the French to do it, but I haven’t done it, I’ll be hon­est with you,” he said.

When asked whether his at­ti­tude was, do as I say not as I do, Mr Cas­tex in­sisted he was not hand­ing out lessons, but that in his job there was no need for the app.

“Look at my role! Sadly, car­ry­ing out my func­tions, it means I don’t take the metro. STOP-COVID is only in­ter­est­ing when you go on the metro or meet peo­ple,” he said. “I see less peo­ple.”

Fi­nance Min­is­ter Bruno Le Maire this week tested pos­i­tive for the virus and is in quar­an­tine.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port from health au­thor­i­ties is­sued on Sept 15, 700,000 peo­ple have al­ready unin­stalled the app and it has had fewer than 200 alerts for Covid-19 in that pe­riod.

Au­thor­i­ties re­ported 16,096 new con­firmed coronaviru­s cases on Thurs­day, blow­ing away the pre­vi­ous record of 13,498 and set­ting a fourth all-time high of daily ad­di­tional in­fec­tions in eight days.

Mr Cas­tex was on tele­vi­sion to re­as­sure cit­i­zens af­ter the govern­ment faced grow­ing crit­i­cism fol­low­ing the is­sue of ex­tra re­stric­tive mea­sures to con­tain the dis­ease.

Cas­tex: ‘Look at my role!’

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