The whole world is anticipating a massive recession, and Australia is most likely to take a $400 billion hit if lockdown is stretched for another six months. No positive cases have been reported from four Australian states, but Barnaby Joyce has rejected the COVIDSafe app that is gaining popularity in other places. The impact of the GDP on the Australian economy will be around 20.7 per cent in 2020 if a “U-shaped” recovery plan is adhered to.
Parts of Western Australia and Queensland have already started lifting strict restrictions. The sectors that are soon to become functional include dental work, all child surgeries, joint replacements, endoscopies, colonoscopies, eye procedures, screening programs, and IVF.
The rising concern
Due to the huge number of COVID-19 cases, the hospitals paused elective surgeries to ease the load. Tony Bartone, the president of the Australian Medical Association, has shown his support to the COVIDSafe app. He added that complications that can arise by postponing elective surgeries should be avoided at all costs.
He asked the Australians not to neglect health issues after reports suggested that many are avoiding regular checkups due to panic. He specifically mentioned that people who may be prone to heart diseases, diabetes, strokes, and cancer could not afford to be casual about their health. They need to visit the doctor the moment they notice anything unusual.
In general, Australia is doing an excellent job of flattening the curve with all the necessary precautions. No new cases were recorded in South Australia, Western Australia, Northern Territory, and the Australian Capital Territory.
Enter, the COVID-19 app
Greg Hunt, Health Minister, recently tweeted urging the Australians to download the COVIDSafe app. Around 1.13 million people had registered for the Coronavirus contact tracing application after downloading it.
How it works
The app uses Bluetooth enabled platform and can be used on both Android and iOs phones. It helps to identify the people who might have come into contact with a Coronavirus positive person. This has proved to be helpful as such people could get tested and break the chain.
The issue with the app
However, the only problem with the app is that the moment you hit the ‘Upload My Information’ button, and it tells you that you have been tested positive. The button should be clicked on if one has been advised by a healthcare professional, otherwise it is bound to spread unnecessary panic.
Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce has refused to download the app saying it may encroach upon his privacy. He added that his neighbourhood is notorious for hackers, and he does not want to take the risk. He even said that downloading the app should be a matter of choice, and it is not going to prevent people from getting COVID-19. Resources Minister Joel Fitzgibbon, on the other hand, encouraged people to use the app and said he wishes things to go back to normal as soon as possible.
Healthcare professionals endorse COVID-19 app
Based on Singapore’s Tracetogether software, the app records connections via Bluetooth, and the user can provide information to the healthcare authorities of the state in case they catch the virus. This app is aimed to keep the government notified and make well-informed choices.
Angelene Falk, the Australian Privacy Commissioner, said that the private information entered in the app would be protected. Australia Institute researched to find around 45 per cent Australians downloaded the app and are likely to enter their details, 28 per cent would not, and 27 per cent have not made up their mind about it.
Australia is slowly but steadily flattening the curve, and the app might come in handy soon.