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What you need to know about COVID-19 today, Sunday April 26.

The federal government has launched the COVID-19 tracing app.

The federal government’s coronavirus app to help trace people who come into contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus will be launched nationally tonight, Sunday April 26, from 6pm.

In a press conference on Sunday afternoon, health minister Greg Hunt and the chief medical officer Brendan Murphy launched the tracing app, called COVIDSafe.

“How does it work? Very simply,” Greg Hunt said.

“Download the app and subsequently register from 6pm today. You then have your app open and it provides a Bluetooth handshake and it sits on your phone in terms of the data, that is encrypted. No one has access to that, not even yourself, no commonwealth officials,” he explained.

“If you are diagnosed then you already have voluntary consent for downloading the app but you are asked a second time. Only a state public health official can be given access to that data, and only after you have then consented for a second time.

“Your details of who you have been in contact with for more than 15 minutes, with less than 1.5m distance, will then be provided.”

There are only four things users are required to provide: your phone number, your name (or a pseudonym), your age range and your postcode.

Tony Bartone, head of the Australian Medical Association, assured Australians: “It can be deleted at any time by anyone who downloads the app and indeed the information will be deleted at the end of the COVID-19 period.”

Greg Hunt said COVIDSafe is now available in the Google store and will be on the Apple store soon.

The Australian app is based on Singapore’s TraceTogether software, which records the Bluetooth connections a phone makes with others so the user can give that data to state health authorities if they catch the virus.

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The government wants at least 40 per cent of the population to sign up so officials can do “industrial-scale” contact tracing.

WA to relax social distancing measures.

Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan announced on Sunday the state government will ease social distancing restrictions to increase the gathering rule to 10 people inside and outside.

“Effective from tomorrow, that is Monday, April 27, based on health advice, indoor and outdoor non-work gatherings will be relaxed to allow up to 10 people maximum,” he said.

McGowan added that non-contact recreational activities can resume, such as “activities like private picnics in the park, fishing, boating, hiking or camping”.

coronavirus tracing app australia
West Australian Premier Mark McGowan. Image: Getty.

"I stress this must only occur in compliance with travel restrictions and a 10 person rule."

McGowan continued: "By increasing the gathering restriction to 10 people we have also attempted to trigger some economic activity in the housing sector. Currently home opens can occur by appointment. From tomorrow, home opens and display village openings will be permitted.

"This will be under strict controls including appropriate record-keeping of everyone that enters the home, good hygiene practices, and in compliance with the 10 person rule."

Queensland to ease restrictions from next Saturday.

Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced she will lift some of the stay-at-home restrictions from next Saturday, May 2.

"Because we have done such a terrific job of flattening the curve, in discussions with the chief health officer, from next Friday we will be able to lift some of the stay-at-home restrictions and can I say, this is a small step and one that we really need the public to 100 per cent cooperate with," she said in a press conference on Sunday morning.

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"If we do see mass gatherings, I will not hesitate to clamp back down."

Queensland will allow residents to go for a drive within a 50km radius of their home, to have picnics with persons of the same household, to go shopping for non-essential items, and some national park will be reopened.

"The other condition is that outings are limited to members of your own household. What we do not want is groups of friends meeting up with other friends at this stage," Annastacia Palaszczuk added.

She also emphasised that good hygiene and social distancing in all other forms must be maintained.

Queensland has reported 1,026 overall, and three new cases in the past 24 hours.

Mamamia breaks down your most common questions about COVID-19. Post continues below.

Video by Mamamia

Global coronavirus death toll surpasses 200,000.

As the global death toll from the coronavirus surpassed 200,000 on Saturday, countries took cautious steps toward easing lockdowns imposed amid the pandemic, but fears of a surge in infections made even some outbreak-wounded businesses reluctant to reopen.

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The worldwide death toll was over 202,000, according to a count by John Hopkins University from government figures. The actual death toll is believed to be far higher.

More than half of the fatalities have been reported by the United States, Spain and Italy.

The first death linked to the disease was reported on January 10 in Wuhan, China.

It took 91 days for the death toll to pass 100,000 and a further 16 days to reach 200,000, according to the Reuters tally of official reports from governments.

By comparison, there are an estimated 400,000 deaths annually from malaria, one of the world's most deadly infectious diseases.

Of the top 20 most severely affected countries, Belgium has reported the highest number of fatalities per capita, with six deaths per 10,000 people, compared to 4.9 in Spain and 1.6 in the United States.

About 8.0 per cent of all cases reported in the United States have been fatal, while more than 10 per cent of cases reported in Spain and Italy have resulted in deaths.

However those rates would be considerably lower if the infection totals included the many cases of the illness that go unreported – since not everyone with symptoms is tested.

Boris Johnson will be back at work on Monday.

boris johnson coronavirus
Image: Getty.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be back at work on Monday, after having recovered from a case of coronavirus that sent him to intensive care for three nights in early April.

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Johnson, 55, will take back control of a government under pressure from the economic fallout of shutdowns aimed at curbing the spread of the highly infectious virus, as well as a rising death toll.

A Downing Street spokeswoman confirmed the news on Saturday as Britain recorded more than 20,000 deaths from COVID-19.

Criticism is growing over the government response to the pandemic, with limited testing and shortages of protective equipment for medical workers and carers.

Johnson was taken to St Thomas's Hospital in central London suffering from COVID-19 symptoms on April 5, and spent April 6 to April 9 in intensive care.

Italy's death toll lowest since March 17.

Deaths from the COVID-19 outbreak in Italy have risen by 415, the smallest daily tally since March 17, the Civil Protection Agency says.

The number of new infections was also the lowest in five days at 2,357 on Saturday from 3,021 on Friday.

Saturday's death toll was slightly down from 420 on Friday.

There were 2,102 people in intensive care on Saturday against 2,173 on Friday, maintaining a long-running decline.

Of those originally infected, 63,120 were declared recovered against 60,498 a day earlier.

The agency said 1.187 million people had been tested for the virus out of a population of about 60 million.

Update on Australian coronavirus cases.

The national death toll now stands at 80, with the number of confirmed cases in Australia at 6,695. This morning there were 51 more cases than yesterday, the Australian Government states.

In NSW, there are 2,994 cases, Victoria has 1,346, Queensland has recorded 1,026, South Australia has 438, Western Australia has recorded 549, Tasmania has 209, there are 106 in the ACT and 27 in the Northern Territory.

Worldwide, confirmed COVID-19 cases have reached 2.9 million.

— With AAP.

Feature Image: Getty.

To protect yourself and the community from COVID-19, remain in your home unless strictly necessary, keep at least 1.5 metres away from other people, regularly wash your hands and avoid touching your face.

If you are sick and believe you have symptoms of COVID-19, call your GP ahead of time to book an appointment. Or call the national Coronavirus Health Information Line for advice on 1800 020 080. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.

To keep up to date with the latest information, please visit the Department of Health website.


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