COVIDSafe app which cost $2million FINALLY detects two coronavirus cases and uncovers a cluster months after it was heralded as Australia’s key to battling the pandemic
- NSW Health said the COVIDSafe app helped them detect two cases of Covid-19
- The positive cases were traced to a positive case of coronavirus at a Sydney RSL
- 544 people were identified as at risk of catching Covid-19 and two were positive
The $2million COVIDSafe app has detected two cases of coronavirus for the first time after being rolled out nearly four months ago.
The app, which was launched on April 26, helped detect an additional 544 people who visited the Mounties RSL venue in Western Sydney.
Of those potentially exposed, two people people identified by the app were tested and found to have coronavirus.
The COVID-19 tracing app has helped identify two previously unknown cases of coronavirus in a cluster linked to the Mounties RSL venue (pictured) in western Sydney
It is the first time the app has helped identify a case of coronavirus without manual contact tracing, despite more than six million people downloading the app.
Although authorities already knew the venue had come into contact with coronavirus, the data identified a new time when patrons were at risk.
The at risk periods have been identified as 12.01am – 2.30am on July 20, 12.15pm – 5.30pm on July 21 and 8.00pm – 12.30am on July 22.
‘Anyone who was at The Mounties on any of these days at other times should also watch for symptoms and immediately isolate and get tested should even mild symptoms occur,’ NSW Health said in a statement.
It is the first time data from the $2million app (pictured) has helped identify a case of coronavirus without manual contact tracing
NSW Health said it had also identified 14 close contact cases through the data tracing.
‘All 14 have been requested to self-isolate as close contacts. To date, none of these 14 close contacts have tested positive to COVID-19,’ it said.
NSW Health recorded 17 new cases overnight with an 83-year-old man, who had COVID-19 linked to the Crossroads Hotel cluster, passing away on Saturday morning.
In June, South Australian senator Rex Patrick said the effectiveness of the app has been an ongoing problem.
‘I think the Prime Minister and the government were dishonest with the Australian public and I think that that’s very sad,’ he told SMH.
Senator Rex Patrick (pictured) said the government have been dishonest with Australians about the effectiveness of the app
Scott Morrison claimed the COVIDSafe app would save lives and livelihoods, with more downloads leading to a greater likelihood that restrictions would be eased.
The app failed to convince enough people to download it or operate effectively, with iPhones struggling to pair data with Samsung devices, or share information while locked or running in the background.
Labor government services spokesman Bill Shorten claimed the government was being secretive as to whether the app worked at all.
‘Covidsafe has had major problems from the start,’ he said.
‘After millions of taxpayers’ dollars have been spent, the app would want to start showing some proper results soon for it not to be added to the pile of Stuart Robert’s disasters.’
AUSTRALIA’S COVIDSAFE APP – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
The COVID-19 contact tracing app is called COVIDSafe.
It only works on smartphones and can be downloaded from the Apple or Google app stores.
Use of the app is voluntary.
* To identify people who may have come into contact with someone who has COVID-19 so that they can be advised to take measures to help stop the spread of the disease or get tested.
Registration will require users to input their:
* mobile phone number – so they can be contacted if needed for contact tracing.
* name – so the relevant health officials can confirm they are speaking to the right person, although the Health Minister says you can use a fake name if you want.
* age range – so health officials can prioritise cases for contact tracing.
* postcode – to make sure health officials from the right state and territory are dealing with your case.
COVIDSAFE IN USE
The app will record the following contact data:
* the encrypted user ID.
* date and time of the contact.
* the Bluetooth signal strength of other COVIDSafe users you come into contact with. This will be logged every two hours in the National COVIDSafe data store.
* No location data will be collected at any time.
* Contact data stored on a device will be deleted after 21 days.
* All data stored will be deleted once the pandemic has concluded.
* Personal information collected via COVIDSafe will handled in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 and the Biosecurity Determination 2020.
* There will be criminal penalties and anyone breaches someone’s privacy.
Source: Australian Government Department of Health