Australian CovidSafe app offers little help in tracing contacts


By late June, two months after its launch, Australia’s A$1.5 million CovidSafe app had failed to help authorities identify even a single contact of a confirmed case. In the states of Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, and Tasmania the app had not picked up any contacts that had not already been identified by human contact tracers, and in Western Australia and Queensland no confirmed cases had downloaded the app. In Victoria, where the virus has been spreading, only just over 30 of 568 confirmed cases had downloaded the app, which notifies state governments but not users when a contact is identified. The government believes the app will be more useful as more restrictions are lifted and people are moving around more. In July, a Melbourne web app developer claimed that the app left him and his 15 staff “dangerously exposed” because they were never contacted when one of them went to dinner with a third party who later reported he had been exposed to a case at his gym. Both the third party and the staff member then tested positive.


Writer: Nine News Australia; Anthony Provesan
Publication: Nine News Australia; The Australian