Expert backs Covid Card over current contact tracing app

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Sun, 19 Jul 2020, 10:26AM
(Photo / NZ Herald)
(Photo / NZ Herald)

Expert backs Covid Card over current contact tracing app

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Sun, 19 Jul 2020, 10:26AM

The Government's being urged to hurry up its decision on whether to replace its Covid tracing ap with an automated Covid Card.

Use of the phone ap has dropped significantly, with Health Minister Chris Hipkins repeatedly urging the public to keep using it during his press conferences. 

Trade Me founder Sam Morgan is pushing for the credit card-sized Bluetooth device - which detects all close contacts and stores them securely for 21 days.

University of Otago's Department of Public Health Professor Nick Wilson says automated systems ensure better uptake.

He told Francesca Rudkin this is not a time for the Government to relax.

"We need every state of the art back up system so that we can respond rapidly to any border control failure.

"We really shouldn't be wasting any time."

Wilson says nearly every expert around the world has been critical of the New Zealand app, but a card is a good idea.

"We need systems that are highly automated so that people don't have to do anything, and that reduces the risk that there won't be enough uptake."

A decision is needed quickly on the Covid Card, Wilson says, and if it's approved, it should be fast-tracked.

;