According to reports by The Guardian Australia, New South Wales, the state with the highest number of coronavirus cases, has not been able to integrate the COVIDSafe app data with existing systems.
Coupled to this, reports also indicate no states have yet used the app to contact tract coronavirus cases – the purpose the app was created for.
Launched at the end of April, almost 6 million Australians have downloaded the app in less than a month.
Guardian Australia reports the Digital Transformation Agency was contacted by the NSW Health department to assist with integration issues.
The Digital Transformation Agency took the issues to the federal health department, who released a statement, stating in part, “We welcome and expect ongoing feedback and evaluation of the operation of the app as more restrictions are eased and there are potential outbreaks, enabling contacts to be more quickly notified, such as with the opening of pubs and increased use of public transport and travel.”
Speaking at a press conference, Dr Kerry Chant, NSW chief health officer said the app is under evaluation.
“We’ve actually had quite low case numbers over the recent week which I’m very pleased [about]. And obviously, with our cases that are in hotel quarantine, they don’t actually have any contacts and that’s one of the benefits of them.
“We are evaluating the use of the COVIDSafe app … we will be using it in every new case identified where there are potential contacts and we’ll update you on the utility of that but there is a formal evaluation under way and we’re working closely with commonwealth colleagues,” she said.
Victoria’s chief health officer, Brett Sutton added that the state has not yet used the COVIDSafe app’s data.
“No, we haven’t had any detections through the COVIDSafe app to date.
“There’s been work in terms of the privacy and security from the Victorian department’s perspective, but as I understand it the data is being made available to the department,” he said in the Guardian Australia.