Good afternoon everybody it’s Dr NickCoatsworth with today’s top three and before we get started on today’s topthree I wanted to talk to you a little bit about COVIDSafe both as a doctorand also as a son.
2 million people have downloaded this app so farincluding my mum who turned 73 a couple of days ago, happy birthday.
And she’s oneof 3.
2 million and growing numbers of Australians that have kept themselvesand their friends and family COVID safe.
So I just wanted to thank everyone whois downloading that app as we speak.
It’s a vital part of our defence.
It actuallyprotects you and your family and friends by making it easier and faster forhealth officials to contact you if you’ve been exposed to someone who’s hadCOVID-19.
It protects our health care workers by making it easier for them torapidly respond to community outbreaks and get them under control.
It’s a bitlike putting out a spo tfire in bushfire season, doing that before we getsomething that we can’t control.
It’s not at all about tracking peopl, e it’s abouthelping our health officials keep our community safe.
As a doctor I can tell you that it’s a really valuabletool to help us protect our health care workers and our community.
As someonewith a family I can tell you I’m glad that it’s there to add an extra layer ofprotection for us, for them and our community.
Downloading it is voluntary.
We’ve been really clear about that and it will stay voluntary.
But I reallyencourage everyone to do it.
The more people that are using it, the better protected we all are.
First question for Dr Nick, the app won’t protect me from people who cough or sneeze on me, or if I touch something that’s being coughed orsneezed on? So what’s the point? No, the the app can’t protect you fromactually acquiring the virus, that’s that’s true.
It can’t be all things toall people in all situations.
In fact we’ve been very clear that it has a very narrowpurpose because we want it to just serve that purpose of the disease detectiveshelping trace the people who have been in contact with the virus.
It works asone part of all our existing defences.
Remembering what I’ve said before thatthe virus has only got one move, it’s got to get from you to somebody else.
And so our first line of defence is still going to be our behaviours thatwe’ve learned so well and the need to continue for the rest of 2020.
That is, aswe lift our restrictions will still have physical distancing from one another of1.
5 metres, we’ll still have the four meter squared rule in confined places, we’ll want to do more and more things outdoors because it’s safer to do thatthan it is indoors and we want to keep our hand hygiene going all the time andmaintain our cough etiquette and most importantly, don’t interact with othersor go to work or school if you have any symptoms of a cough or a cold.
So that isour primary line of defence.
Now the COVIDSafe app’s a bit like a linebackeror quarterback, I’m not very good with American football.
But anyway, that’sthat’s the analogy.
So, you know, once someone has got COVID-19 and werecognise that, the app helps out contact traces build a very comprehensive listof people that they have been in contact with for 15 minutes or more.
And by doingthat, it helps our own memories.
It’s actually really hard to remember whoyou’ve been in contact with for 15 minutes or more over a two-week periodand in fact it’s going to be even harder as we get more mobile and move aroundthe country more and have more contacts.
So that’s why we need the app.
Becauseit’s going to help you remember if you get COVID-19.
It’s going to help you ifyou’re a contact of someone who’s had COVID-19 because you’ll then be awareand we’ll be able to help you and most importantly.
it’s going to help ourdisease detectives find those small clusters of COVID-19as we suppress it and keep them from getting out of control.
Second question for today, why is it so important that this contract tracing process is faster? So, the quicker we get these clusters or transmission chains worked out, the quicker we stop COVID from spreading in the community.
You canimagine this process that the disease detectives are doing is a reallycomplicated one and as they’re working out what each transmission chain’s doingit takes time.
It might take days, sometimes it can take weeks to actuallyfigure out where the disease has come from and where it’s spreading.
So the apphelps us by giving a comprehensive list of contacts with your phone details areexchanged and remembering that you can still say no when a public healthofficial calls you, to releasing that encrypted data on the phone, you have toput in the pin number to release it to your public health officials.
But I hopethat we would all say yes to that and by doing so, we would allow that contacttracing process to proceed in a much much quicker fashion.
So I’ll give you anexample.
If it took under usual contact tracing sort of 24-48 hours to determinewho the contacts were and call them and make sure that they went intoself-isolation and were reporting symptoms.
And you brought that down tothe same day with the COVIDSafe app, these numbers are just for the sake ofargument of course, but then you’ve stopped a couple of days of a person whowas moving around in the community with COVID-19 from actually transmittingit to other people.
So I think with that in mind that’s what speed of the COVIDSafe app is going to do.
It’s going to help the contact tracing processhappen a lot quicker, it’s going to help our disease detectives give you greatadvice and that’s why the more people that download it the better it’s goingto be.
Thanks very much.