April 17, 2020 16:37:47
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly has not ruled out making the Government’s coronavirus tracing app compulsory for all Australians.
The app will use data from people’s phones to tell health authorities who has been in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case, and who may need to be tested.
The Government has said 40 per cent of Australians would need to sign up to the app for it to have enough data to function properly.
When asked if the panel of health experts advising the Government was considering recommending the app be compulsory if less than 40 per cent of people signed up, Professor Kelly said making it voluntary at first was “the way to go”.
“I’ve always been a believer in the Australian people making the right decision,” he said.
“As I’ve said, this is an add-on to what we have in terms of contact tracing and case finding, so I think we need to make the case for an app.
“I think we start with voluntary and see how that goes.”
Professor Kelly said work was ongoing to address privacy concerns around the app and the data it would store.
“We have to work to make sure this is as good and safe [as it can be] and cover off privacy concerns and so forth,” he said.
The Government has said the app, if successful, could lead to an early easing of social-distancing restrictions.
Voluntary download the Prime Minister’s ‘preference’
Speaking on Hobart’s Triple M radio station earlier on Friday, the Prime Minister also did not rule out making the app mandatory.
“In Australia my preference, my very strong preference, is that we do it this way where Australians are doing it by permission,” Scott Morrison said.
“My preference is to give Australians the go of getting it right.
“That’s my objective, that’s my Plan A and I really want Plan A to work.”
Mr Morrison said he understood it would not be something people would do ordinarily, but that this was “not an ordinary time”.
“I’d be calling on Australians to do it, frankly, as a matter of national service.”
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April 17, 2020 15:59:18