By launching COVIDSafe in Punjabi and Turkish, in addition to the seven languages it was previously available in, authorities expect to reach 2 million people in Australia. Punjabi is the only Indian subcontinental language in which the COVIDSafe app has been made available so far, to help with contact tracing.
COVIDSafe is a tool that supports the work of Australia’s manual contact tracers. It has been used in the past few months to find and notify close contacts that were unknown to the person who tested positive to coronavirus.
Since its launch earlier this year, the COVIDSafe app has been downloaded 7 million times.
In an effort to reach migrant communities who don't speak English as a first language, so far the tracing app was available in seven languages - Arabic, Cantonese, Greek, Italian, Korean, Mandarin and Vietnamese.
This week, when launching the updated version of the COVIDSafe app for a better user experience, Punjabi and Turkish language versions of the app were also launched.
This is expected to provide over two million Australians with better usability and experience of the app.
Since its launch, the Federal Digital Transformation Agency —with the support of users and the tech community—has made iterative enhancements to the COVIDSafe app focusing on performance, privacy and accessibility.
The latest update to COVIDSafe provides improved notifications and allows users to use the app in Punjabi along with many other languages.
The COVIDSafe website now also includes help topics in Turkish and Punjabi, as well as the other translated languages. Users can access these translated help topics directly from the app.
The COVIDSafe user guide has also been translated into 63 languages. The user guide provides information on downloading and registering COVIDSafe, and how to make sure it is working correctly.
‘We have again strengthened privacy aspects of the app, working with the technology community on several fixes’, says DTE website.
‘We have provided improved guidance and made it easier for Android users to change the name of their device, which is visible when using Bluetooth, from within the COVIDSafe app. This is a privacy enhancement for users. COVIDSafe does not collect the device name. We have improved our encryption so that old information cannot be reused by a malicious actor’, it says further.
Click on the player at the top of the page to listen to this feature in Punjabi.
People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits.
If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus