COVIDSafe fail? How we spent millions on a tracking app that hasn’t detected a SINGLE case of coronavirus – despite over six million Aussies downloading it
- Covidsafe app hasn’t found a case of coronavirus outside manual contact tracing
- Senator Rex Patrick said government were ‘dishonest’ of the app’s effectiveness
- The app has been downloaded 6.44 million times and still has issues pairing data
- Bill Shorten said we should use the Apple-Google contact system over our app
The COVIDSafe tracking app has not detected a single case of coronavirus outside of manual contact tracing despite more than six million downloads.
The $2million app was launched on April 26 by the federal government to notify users whether they have been within 1.5 metres of someone infected with COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes.
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.
The federal government Covidsafe tracing app has not found a single case of coronavirus outside of manual contact tracing
Senator Rex Patrick 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 has been downloaded 6.44 million times and is still having issues, with iPhones struggling to pair data with Samsung devices, or share information while locked or running in the background.
Government Services Minister Stuart Robert previously stated that phones do not need to be unlocked for the app to work.
Labor government services spokesman Bill Shorten claimed the government was being secretive as to whether the app worked at all.
Labor’s Bill Shorten said the Covidsafe app is another example of Stuart Robert’s disasters
‘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.’
When the app was launched at the height of Australia’s pandemic, 6,696 Australians had coronavirus.
There have been 926 confirmed cases since then, but only 40 of those 926 cases have the Covidsafe app.
Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said contact tracers had downloaded data from the app 30 times, while NSW officials accessed data ten times.
Neither identified a new contact through using the app.
Staff at the Tanundra War Memorial Hospital test a patient for coronavirus at their clinic in the Barossa Valley, northeast of Adelaide, in March
Mr Shorten said Australia should change program to use the Apple-Google contact exposure alert system.
The system will be used in the UK after it was announced the NHS abandoned their tracing app to use the Apple-Google network, despite having already spent millions of pounds and the new technology not being available for months.
A spokesman for Mr Roberts said the federal health department are working with Apple and Google and the developers of the Covidsafe app to understand how their technology can be applied to Australia.
They ensured the current app is helping to identify and prevent the spread of coronavirus in Australia.
‘The Australian community can have confidence it is working securely and effectively, despite the lack of community transmission of COVID-19,’ the spokesman said.