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RACGP helping Australians understand and download COVIDSafe

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is helping Australians understand why the COVID-Safe application is safe, how it works and what people need to do to play their part in combating COVID-19.

The COVIDSafe Fact Sheet provides an overview of the Federal Government’s new app and features accessible and straightforward information for all Australians.

RACGP President Dr Harry Nespolon said that the fact sheet will help clarify details of the app that are leading to confusion and alarm for some members of the community.

“This pandemic is forcing us to adapt the way we live our lives and go about our day to day business.

“I understand that asking people to download an app helping to track cases of a potentially deadly virus can cause some anxiety. This isn’t something that we have had to do before, and some people may not have much experience downloading and using apps.

“You may have heard a lot of technical language being used in the media concerning this app and its capabilities. This fact sheet avoids all of that – it’s designed for everyone to read and share with their friends and family.

“It clearly explains that the COVIDSafe app is designed to keep us safe and healthy by tracking cases of the virus in the community to help control its spread.

“The fact sheet also goes into how the app works. Basically, if you come into contact with others who are using it a ‘digital handshake’ occurs.
“This information is securely stored on your own phone and is not accessed by anyone else unless a person is diagnosed with the virus and they consent to uploading the contact information collected to a highly secure information storage system.”

Dr Nespolon also reminded Australians why downloading COVIDSafe was so important.

“This app does not track where you are or what you are doing. If at least 40% of the population download this app it will make a decisive difference in combating the spread of this pandemic.

“There has been a strong early take up of the app and that is positive news. But we need more people to download COVIDSafe right away, this next step will help us trace and contain this virus.

“So please encourage your family members, friends and work colleagues to download the app. If they express concerns about security or privacy point them to this fact sheet.

“Also perhaps remind them that the more people who use COVIDSafe the more effective it will be. If there is a high number of downloads, we will get closer and closer to removing the social restrictions in place and getting our communities back to normal.

“We can chart a far more rapid course to returning to our lives as they were before this pandemic. The more people that download the app the sooner it will be that we can delete from our phones.

“As I have been saying to my patients these are anxious times, but we are all in this together. We all have a role to play in combating this once in a lifetime pandemic.

“So please download the app and point people in your life worried about doing the same to our fact sheet. It may help alleviate some of their concerns and help us reach that key figure of 40% uptake.”