Apr 27, 2020 - Health

Nearly 2 million Australians download new coronavirus tracing app

Tthe Australian government coronavirus (COVID-19) tracking app 'COVIDSafe' is installed on April 27

The Australian government coronavirus tracking app "COVIDSafe" installed on a phone in Sydney, Australia, Monday. Photo: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Almost 2 million Australians have downloaded a coronavirus tracing app within hours of its release, Health Minister Greg Hunt announced Monday, as the country moves to ease restrictions.

The big picture: A top health official stressed at a briefing Sunday that the app is "only for one purpose, to help contact tracing," as the government seeks to get at least 40% of the population to use the app for it to be effective. Australia has reported just over 6,700 cases and 83 deaths from COVID-19. In the U.S., most people told a Kaiser Family Foundation poll they'd share their coronavirus test results with public health officials, but fewer would download an app that tracks who they come in contact with.

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