#COVID19 Tracking App Tells Untested Aussies They're Infected

A COVID-19 tracking app introduced by the Australian government has been informing users who haven't even been tested for the novel coronavirus that they have contracted the bug.

The CovidSafe app went live at 6pm on April 26 and was downloaded a million times on its first night. Australian prime minister Scott Morrison has said that for the voluntary app to be effective at helping to slow the spread of the contagious virus, at least 40% of the country's approximately 25 million people need to adopt it.

By using Bluetooth technology to track users who come within 1.5 meters of people who have tested positive for COVID-19, it is hoped that the app can help ease strict lockdown measures.

However, many Australians who downloaded the app were confronted with a screen informing them that they had tested positive for coronavirus, despite not having been tested for COVID-19. 

After selecting the option to "upload my information," users were shown the message: "You have tested positive for COVID-19. Unless you consent, your contact information will not be uploaded. If you consent, your contact information will be uploaded and shared with State or Territory health officials for contact tracing purposes."

A spokesman for Government Services Minister Stuart Robert said the message was not a flaw in the newly released tracking app. According to Robert, the confusion arose from users' interacting with the app incorrectly. 

"You don't upload if you haven't tested positive, that's the whole point of the app," Robert told Daily Mail Australia.

"You're only supposed to push that button if you've been asked to by a health official if you've tested positive."

Users of the app told the Daily Mail Australia, "Nowhere does it say, 'click if you've been diagnosed with coronavirus' or 'have you tested positive for COVID-19?'"

Since its launch on Sunday, several issues have been reported regarding the CovidSafe app. Noted problems include the failure of the app to recognize the user's phone number, missing confirmation emails, and the cessation of the Bluetooth signal when a cell phone enters low power mode. 

Australia had 6,714 coronavirus cases as of Sunday night, with 83 deaths, 1,086 active cases, and 5,541 patients fully recovered.

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