- The app sends a notification when there is a strong contact with a user who is positive for the new coronavirus test for 15 minutes or more.
- Prime Minister Scott Morrison says people can use the app to ease restrictions, such as travel restrictions.
- Due to the global coronavirus pandemic that has closed Australia’s borders, Australia's immigration this year is less than before.
The Australian government released the new coronavirus tracing application, “COVIDSafe.” Within a few hours of its release, over 1 million people have downloaded it. COVIDSafe uses Bluetooth to encrypt and record a “digital handshake” when users approach each other within 1.5 meters.
It is a system that sends a notification when there is a strong contact with a user who is positive for the new coronavirus test for 15 minutes or more. COVIDSafe is based on a similar app introduced in Singapore.
At press time, according to Worldometers, there were 6,720 cases of coronavirus in Australia, and 83 have died, out of a population of about 25 million people. The number of people infected with coronavirus daily has been declining over the past few weeks, with just 21 on the 26th.
Health Minister Greg Hunt called on people to download the app. “Please join us and help protect ourselves, our families, each other but above all else our nurses and doctors,” Mr Hunt wrote on Twitter. Prime Minister Scott Morrison says people can use the app to ease restrictions, such as travel restrictions. According to the government, about 40% of the population will need to download the app for COVID Safe to be effective.
Addressing privacy concerns, he explains that the data is stored in Australia and “even with a court order,” no one has the right to access this data except by health authorities. In the app, a person needs to register the age group, mobile phone number, zip code, etc. Names can be registered anonymously.
The data will be erased after 21 days or if the app is deleted from the smartphone. Queensland and Western Australia announced today that they will allow outdoor gatherings this week. Victoria, meanwhile, says it will continue to have tight restrictions.
Immigrants in Australia
Due to the global coronavirus pandemic that has closed Australia’s borders, Australia’s immigration this year is less than before. In recent years, the number of immigrants in Australia has been maintained at a high level. However, since the restrictions of the coronavirus pandemic had an impact on the domestic economy, the Australian government has taken measures to protect local employment.
This is causing the number of immigrants to be restricted this year. Compared with the previous months, the number of invitation letters for permanent residence issued by the Ministry of the Interior in April has been greatly reduced.
The number of independent technical permanent residents who can settle and work in any area of Australia— “189 Technical Permanent Residence Visa”— was 1,750 in March, but only 50 were left in April. The other 491 visa requires immigrants to live in a designated remote area, and the number of people who have received a visa has also decreased significantly.
The upper limit of immigration for 2019-20 is 160,000 people, but according to current trends, it is far from reaching this level. A spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior said “it is too early to say that the final result is now, and the immigrants continue to apply for a permanent visa.” He added, “however, due to the suspension of overseas health examinations and English tests, it is not yet possible to explain.”
Last week, a spokesperson for the Ministry of the Interior stated that the government “is closely monitoring immigration and visa units to ensure that they are aligned with public health measures and will not snatch employment opportunities for local Australians.”