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COVID Track & Trace App Finally Live – Have You Done Your Bit?

Sun Sep 27 2020

Government officials fear only 10% of the UK population may download it

The UK’s Track & Trace, COVID-19 app was finally released last week to help limit the spread of the virus in England & Wales.

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It is the fastest way of knowing when you're at risk from Coronavirus. The quicker you know, the quicker you can alert your loved ones, and your community. The app has been built in collaboration with some of the most innovative organisations in the world. We have worked with medical experts, privacy groups, at-risk communities and we've shared knowledge with the teams working on similar apps in many countries.

NHS Spokesperson

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Although the app was released four months behind schedule it comes with a host of features that similar apps available in other countries don’t have like:

 

  • QR code scanner to check in at bars and restaurants (replacing the manual Track & Trace)
  • Notifications on yours and surrounding areas as to the current risk of COVID-19
  • Lists of coronavirus symptoms to help decide if you need to book a test
  • The ability to book coronavirus tests
  • Advice on how long to self-isolate for

 

The app, running on software created by Google and Apple does require an operating system of at least Android 6.0 or iOS 13.5 run but is available to download from both the Apple app store and Google Play here:

 

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=uk.nhs.covid19.production

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/id1520427663

 

Unfortunately, due to pushback from various sources on social media, many Government officials are worried the app will only be adopted by around 10% of the population in some regions of the UK.

Comparing that to other countries with apps already released, they’ve shown adoption rates of between 10-30% - Still far lower than the NHS’s target of reaching at least 80% of people with a smartphone. 

 

However, the good news is that even with a 10% adoption rate, the NHS is confident the app will help tackle the coronavirus pandemic and the possibility of a second wave.

The results of a recent study from the US, conducted by teams from Oxford University, Washington have shown that infections fell by 8% in a geographical area when just 15% of the population used similar apps.

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The app will work alongside the traditional contact tracing service and will help the NHS to quickly reach more people to prevent further spread of the virus in communities.

Dido Harding - Chairman, NHS Test and Trace programme

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Sun Sep 27 2020

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