Corona warning app on an iPhone: 220 million euros for the digital fight against the pandemic
Stefan Jaitner/ DPA
While the pandemic flattened out compared to the previous year, the costs for the Corona warning app continue to rise: the 50 million euros that had been forecast for 2022 were not enough, the responsible Federal Ministry of Health told the "Welt am Sonntag".
For the operation and further development of the app, "expected costs of 73 million euros" were incurred this year.
Further costs are to be expected in the coming year: Due to the “still dynamic pandemic situation and the possible increase in the number of cases in the winter months”, the decision was made to continue operating the app, the Ministry of Health explained.
The "relevant contracts" would be extended until May 31, 2023 and funds of around 23 million euros would be required in the new financial year for the continuation of the Corona warning app.
The total costs for the program now amount to more than 220 million euros.
Left criticizes "bottomless pit"
Gesine Lötzsch, deputy chairwoman and budgetary spokeswoman for the left-wing faction, described the app and its financing as "a bottomless pit".
Her experiences with it were "not particularly positive," she told the "Welt am Sonntag".
"The money would certainly be better spent to support overburdened health authorities."
The Green Group Vice President Konstantin von Notz, on the other hand, said that the app was still a central component of the fight against the pandemic.
However, he would like the ministry to provide “the greatest possible transparency about past and future costs”.
The app was launched in June 2020, primarily to be able to track infection chains better and break them faster.
By the beginning of 2022, the app had already cost more than 130 million euros.