Coronavirus tracing app proves popular in Australia, with more than a million downloads

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More than a million Australians rushed to download an app designed to help medical workers and state governments trace close contacts of COVID-19 patients, as Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s approval rating soared on his pandemic response.

With a population of 25 million, Australia has been one of the most successful countries in fighting the coronavirus pandemic, recording just 83 deaths and 6,700 cases, due to border closures, movement restrictions and a stay-at-home policy.

It has lowered its infection rate to currently around 1 per cent from 25 per cent in March.

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Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt said 1.13 million Australians downloaded the tracing app CovidSafe as of 6 a.m. (2000 GMT) on Monday, nearly 4.5 per cent of the country’s population.

The first one million came within five hours of launching the app, he added.

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When asked how many people need to download the app for it to be successful, Hunt said “there is no magic number.”

“As many as possible is our real goal,” he added.

1:47How a contact tracing app would work to help in fight against COVID-19

How a contact tracing app would work to help in fight against COVID-19

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“It is about assisting our disease experts find people who might have been exposed and we are well ahead of our best hopes and expectations already.”

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