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Australians download COVIDSafe contact tracing app

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More than a million Australians have downloaded a coronavirus contact tracing app within hours of it being released by the government.

The COVIDSafe smartphone app uses a Bluetooth wireless signal to exchange a “digital handshake” with another user when they come within 1.5m (4.9ft).

The app then logs this contact and encrypts it.

Users will be notified if they have had more than 15 minutes of close contact with another user who tests positive.

Australia has recorded 6,694 confirmed coronavirus cases and 80 deaths from the virus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The rise in infections has slowed considerably in recent weeks, however, with just 16 new cases recorded on Sunday.

The app – based on one introduced in Singapore – went live at 1800 local time on Sunday (0900 BST), and Health Minister Greg Hunt confirmed the download figures on Sunday night.

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