Over a million Australians downloaded an application designed to trace close contacts of COVID-19 patients within five hours of its launch, said Health Minister Greg Hunt. The COVIDSafe app has been launched to help the government and health officials to quickly contact people who may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus.
As at 10:30 PM 1 million Australians have now downloaded and registered for the #CovidSafeapp - please join us and help protect ourselves, our families, each other but above all else our nurses and doctors— Greg Hunt (@GregHuntMP) April 26, 2020
According to the Health Department, State and territory health officials can access app information only if someone tests positive and agrees to the information in their phone being uploaded. The department claims that health officials can only use the app information to help alert those who may need to quarantine or get tested.
It recognises other devices with the COVIDSafe app installed and Bluetooth enabled and when the app recognises another user, it notes the date, time, distance and duration of the contact. It notes other user’s reference code and does not collect the location of the user, as per the health department’s website.
The application can also be used to stay up to date with the official information and advice and to get a quick snapshot of the current official status within Australia. It provides relevant contact information and sends push notifications of urgent information and updates.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s approval rating also soared as per a Newspoll conducted by an Australian daily which has skyrocketed to 68 per cent. The approval rating got a boost by the government’s response to COVID-19 which has been reflected in the comparatively low numbers of coronavirus cases.
Australia has reported just over 6,700 confirmed cases of coronavirus so far with 83 deaths owing to the infectious disease. On the other hand, almost three million coronavirus cases have been confirmed worldwide with more than 207,000 deaths, overwhelming the health care facilities across the globe.
(Image credit: AP)