Health Ministry reports issue with its coronavirus-tracking application

The Health Ministry says it discovered a small problem with its coronavirus-tracking smartphone application, Hamagen, resulting in false, unnecessary directives to users to quarantine themselves.

Over 1 million Israelis have downloaded the application, which records the routes of users and cross-references them with the movements of confirmed coronavirus carriers. If a Hamagen user has been in close contact with an infected person, they receive a message telling them to go into quarantine.

“In the past two days we have received reports of erroneous messages. The Health Ministry is fixing the issue with the exposure data,” it says in a statement.

The Health Ministry says the application appears to be using an incorrect method of determining if someone was in close enough contact with an infected person to require quarantine.

“We are working around the clock to fix and improve [the application]. In the meantime, please use common sense if you receive a notification about a place and time where you never were. You can press the button, ‘This is a mistake, I was never there,’ and continue with your lives — just please go outside as little as possible and maintain a distance of at least two meters from other people,” the ministry says.

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