Australia urges use of coronavirus-tracking phone app, but says it’s not mandatory

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Australia’s coronavirus-related death toll rose by three to a total of 68 on Saturday, health data showed, with the government stepping up its calls for people to sign up for a controversial movement-tracking mobile phone app.

Australia and neighbouring New Zealand have shown early success in potentially stopping COVID-19 after closing their early and imposing strict curbs on public movement.

The daily growth rate of new infections has steadied in the low percentage single digits in both countries, a fraction of what was seen a month ago. Australia recorded 36 new cases on Saturday and a total of 6,533 cases, according to the health ministry data.

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Saturday that downloading a movement-tracking app, which would enable the government to detect potential new outbreaks and which has been criticized as invasion of privacy, would not be mandatory.

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“We will be seeking the cooperation and support of Australians to download the app to help our health workers, to protect our community and help get our economy going again,” Morrison said on his Twitter account.

We will be seeking the cooperation and support of Australians to download the app to help our health workers,

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