COVIDSAFE: The Australian government application will create a Bluetooth connection between two phones with the application installed and log the interaction to help the government identify potential COVID-19 cases.
COVIDSAFE: The Australian government application will create a Bluetooth connection between two phones with the application installed and log the interaction to help the government identify potential COVID-19 cases.

CQ doctors and MPs back coronavirus app

MILLIONS of Australians are reported to have already downloaded the Federal Government’s coronavirus tracing app launched this week.

‘COVIDSafe’ is meant to reinforce the tracking of person-to-person virus spread and was recently endorsed by a Central Queensland MP and doctor.

Member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd praised his electorate’s efforts in abiding by medical recommendations so far, but said that nobody should get complacent about stopping the spread of the virus.

“The Chief Medical Officer’s advice is we need the COVIDSafe app as part of the plan to save lives and save livelihoods,” he said.

COVIDSafe uses Bluetooth to interact with other phones. The date, time, distance and duration of contact among people is recorded on each phone and is inaccessible to the user.

If diagnosed with COVID-19, a user must agree to share data on his recent interactions.

“The more people who download this important public health app, the safer they and their family will be, the safer the community will be and the sooner we can safely lift restrictions and get back to business and do the things we love,” Mr O’Dowd said.

Close contact is defined as being within 1.5 metres of someone for at least 15 minutes and that information will only be legally accessible by authorised state health officials.

The app retains data for 21 days.

Member for Gregory Lachlan Millar said: “The more people that download the app, the more chance we have of lifting restrictions.

“I’m confident that there’s privacy security. It’s a tool to get us back to some sort of normality.”

Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine president and Emerald doctor Ewen McPhee recommended downloading the app, especially given the greater outdoor freedom granted by the State Government this week.

“As restrictions lift, I am keen that people with colds and flus stay away from work and school,” he said.

“Anyone with a fever, cough, or sore throat should be tested.

“I urge people to download the COVIDSafe app so that we can quickly notify people if they have been in contact with a known positive.”


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