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Deputy CMO Urges Aussies To Download Contact-tracing App

CANBERRA: Once again Australians are being urged to download and activate the CovidSafe app on their phones, with the Deputy Chief Medical Officer arguing it has had “a number of recent and notable successes”.

According to deputy CMO Nick Coatsworth, the CovidSafe app has demonstrated some success in helping NSW health authorities trace 544 new contacts, two of whom tested positive to Covid-19.

Coatsworth said the app was “coming into its own” now that most states and territories were easing their restrictions and re-opening their economies.

“We see what happens when you have an essentially open economy, as you do in New South Wales,” he said. “And that’s where CovidSafe comes into its own. That’s where you’re in touch with people who are strangers, potentially for prolonged periods of time, and it’s difficult to identify who you were in touch with over the last 14 days.”

Nearly seven million Aussies have downloaded the contact-tracing app since its launch in April, but so far it has only identified a handful of new coronavirus cases. The limited success has left it exposed to criticism, with Labor calling it “a $2 million dud”.

Coatsworth urged Australians to encourage their friends and family to download the mobile app which he claimed is still functioning and performing better following updates to its algorithm.

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