Australia launched mobile-phone software to help trace people infected with the coronavirus as parts of the country start to loosen restrictions on movement.
The COVIDSafe app records digital handshakes between smartphones via Bluetooth, and if someone catches the virus, health authorities will be able to track who has been within 1.5 meters of the person for 15 minutes or more. More than 1.1 million people have signed up since its launch Sunday, the government said.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says broader testing and contact-tracking are pre-requisites for Australia to more broadly ease social distancing restrictions, after Queensland and Western Australia states announced they are relaxing some controls on Sunday. The government needs to overcome privacy concerns to convince people to sign up to the app, and says at least 40% of the26 million-strong population must do so for it to be successful.
“The more people who download this important public health app, the safer they and their family will be, the safer their community will be and the sooner we can safely lift restrictions,” Morrison said Sunday.
32,796 in U.S.Most new cases today
-17% Change in MSCI World Index of global stocks since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23
-1.117 Change in U.S. treasury bond yield since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23
-0.5% Global GDP Tracker (annualized), March