Infected Melbourne protester didn’t have COVIDSafe app

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A reminder that downloading the Government’s contact tracing app can be critical in confirmed cases.

Victoria’s Deputy Chief Health Officer, Dr Annaliese van Diemen, has revealed that the Melbourne protester who attended last weekend’s Black Lives Matter protest who tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, did not have the COVIDSafe app.

The man, aged in his 30s, was with a group of friends who have been contacted, as have his other close contacts, but the health authorities have been unable to alert any other attendees.

“It would have been useful and certainly we remain encouraging of people to download the app,” she said.

“It appears that most of the protesters were wearing masks. It reduces the risk but it does not negate the risk.”

The man is not thought to have acquired the virus at the protest and was not showing symptoms on the day, but may have been infectious at the demonstration.

Since its launch on April 26, the app has been downloaded by more than 6.2 million people, but it has come in for criticism because none of the State and Territory local health authorities have announced that COVIDSafe identified any otherwise unidentified contacts.

However, the authorities say this is because case numbers here are low – and it would be a different situation if numbers were higher.

Either way, they now have no way to trace if others are now at risk.

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