The Covid-19 mobile application “could be made less sensitive”


Health Secretary Sajid Javid is examining the sensitivity of the NHS Covid-19 contact tracing app, as millions could be asked to self-isolate this summer, according to the BBC.

The app used in England and Wales allows people who test positive for the coronavirus to share their test results anonymously, triggering alerts for their recent contacts. Anyone who receives an alert is asked to self-isolate for up to 10 days.

Health trusts and the hospitality industry have warned MPs of the major impact of the self-isolation of millions of people as the economy reopens.

A source close to Mr Javid told the BBC he plans to make changes to the app amid a rapid increase in alerts, adding: “We are reviewing sensitivity.”

Some 360,000 alerts were sent through the app during the last week of June, up over 60% and the highest weekly total so far this year, and the BBC estimates that 4, 5 million people could be asked to self-isolate between this week and August 16. .

Daily confirmed cases of Covid-19 in UK

Dr Jenny Harries, head of the new UK Health Security Agency, told MPs on Thursday she was “aware that people are choosing not to use the app”, when asked about concerns that some had deleted it to avoid alerts.

Dr Harries said there was “work going on right now as it is entirely possible to tune the app to ensure it is fit for the risk.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said earlier: “I rely on the NHS app, as a lot of people do.

“I know how difficult it has been for people and I am sorry for the hassle people have gone through as a result of this – this is coming to an end.”

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