COVID-19 tracking app is 'not working'

Brooke Rolfe
·News Reporter
·2-min read

The Australian Government’s COVIDSafe phone application has reportedly so far not served its intended purpose despite more than six million Australians downloading it.

Technical issues within the app has prevented NSW Health from being able to use data collected in the several weeks it’s been in operation, Nine News has reported.

Because of this, contacts of people who test positive to COVID-19 are not currently able to be traced and notified by authorities, according to the network.

Problems with the app are expected to be resolved within the next week, however, those initially skeptic of downloading it may now have more reason to abstain.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Source: AAP
Prime Minister Scott Morrison spruiked the app as the best way to keep safe, but it has reportedly not been working. Source: AAP

Despite the hiccup, the app is still being touted as the best way for people to keep themselves and the people they come into contact with safe from the deadly disease.

"The only way the disease detectives can really use the COVIDSafe app is if it is on the phone of the person who is diagnosed with COVID. If it's not on their phone, COVIDSafe can't be used," Deputy Chief Medical Officer Nick Coatsworth said previously.

Confirmed issues within the app came after Software developer Richard Nelson found a flaw that would allow someone with a Bluetooth device to crash the app running on phones in the vicinity.

“If you went into a busy area - a popular restaurant or pub or bar or something like that - it would disable contact tracing for all of the iPhones in that area,” Mr Nelson told AAP.

Issues with the app are expected to be solved within the next week, hopefully before students go back to school on Monday. Source: AAP
Issues with the app are expected to be solved within the next week, hopefully before students go back to school on Monday. Source: AAP

The government released an update for COVIDSafe on Thursday last week that fixes the problem, but many people still need to manually install it.

It's believed the update also fixes problems that could have led to Android phones being trackable for days.

More than 1.2 million students will return to school in NSW from Monday, putting thousands more people back on the public transport for the first time in months.

In a bid to minimise the chance of a coronavirus outbreak, more than 40,000 bottles of hand sanitiser, 20,000 bars of soap and 20,000 toilet rolls have been delivered to schools in the state.

Temperature checking hand guns will also reportedly be used.

With AAP

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@yahoonews.com.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and download the Yahoo News app from the App Store or Google Play.