German government thanks Bundesliga for virus app adverts

By Wolfgang Mueller, dpa

Berlin (dpa) – German government spokesperson Steffen Seibert thanked Bundesliga and second-tier clubs on Saturday for helping to publicize the country’s coronavirus contact tracing app.

“Football, the league and the clubs are showing that they have a special power in society. They have more to say that just on the pitch,” Seibert told Sky television.

“The fact they are supporting us is great. These are not small gestures.”

On the final two matchdays of the Bundesliga and second division, logos for the app are being displayed on the arms of club jerseys instead of the competition badge.

German Football League (DFL) president Christian Seifert said in a statement: “We wish to use the reach of the Bundesliga and second division to draw attention to this nationwide.”

The app, developed on behalf of the German government, was launched last Tuesday. It can measure whether mobile phone users have come closer than two metres over a sustained period of time. If a user has tested positive for the new coronavirus and has shared this in the app, it reports to other users that they have been near an infected person.

According to Seibert, the app has now been downloaded more than 10.5 million times.

It will be available in other languages in the coming weeks, SAP executive board member Juergen Mueller told the Bild am Sonntag German newspaper, in comments published Sunday.

The Turkish version will be rolled out in about four weeks and French, Arabic, Romanian and Russian versions are planned as well, Mueller said.

In the same report, federal health minister Jens Spahn said Germany’s coronavirus app has had more downloads than all of the other EU states put together.

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