COMMUNAL leaders have led by example in downloading the federal government’s COVIDSafe mobile phone app and are urging members of the community to do the same.
Released over the weekend, the app uses bluetooth to record a person’s contacts with other users, with that information able to be securely used for contact tracing if a person is diagnosed with COVID-19.
The government is encouraging all Australians to download and activate the app despite some in the wider community having expressed privacy concerns. Canberra has been working to address those concerns, while some media personalities and tech entrepreneurs have also encouraged Australians to get the app.
Executive Council of Australian Jewry president Jillian Segal said she has already done so.
“I strongly encourage members of our community to download and activate this app,” she said.
“The risk of misuse is slight compared to the health and social benefits of rapid, comprehensive and accurate contact by health officials with people who might have been exposed to infection”.
Segal added, “The gradual easing of restrictions on movement and physical distancing as the number of reported new infections declines presents new challenges.
“The government has correctly sought a pathway back to a regularly functioning economy, but without setting off a second wave of infections. If this app means that we can ease social distancing and restrictions on movement, and begin a transition back to normal life, then it is worth it.”
NSW Jewish Board of Deputies president Lesli Berger has also downloaded the COVIDSafe app.
“I want to make sure my family are safe and to do my bit to keep our community safe,” he said.
“The response to this pandemic isn’t only the responsibility of government and health authorities. We all have a role to play, especially if we want to minimise the economic impact and have social distancing restrictions lifted as soon as possible.
“I encourage everyone to download the app.”
Jewish Community Council of Victoria president Jennifer Huppert also encouraged all members of the community to get the app.
“The virus and the restrictions imposed to limit its spread have had a significant impact on our community, and the widespread use of the app has the potential to both enable health authorities to track the spread of the virus and ease the restrictions we have all been living with,” she said.
Hatzolah in Melbourne sent out an email on Sunday with a link to download the app, while Hatzolah in Sydney also said it encouraged members of the Jewish community to use it.