UK's COVID-19 tracking system under fire amid warning of second spike

Grant Boone
May 21, 2020

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said yesterday a "world-beating" programme to test and trace those suspected of having been in contact with people who have tested positive for Covid-19 would be in place by June 1.

"We would therefore urge you to produce such a strategy with a clear implementation plan ahead of any further easing of the lockdown", Mr Dickson said in his letter.

Justice Minister James Brockenshire said the contact tracing app needs to be up and running "as quickly as possible" but acknowledged that it may launch after the new tracing system comes into place.

But below stress from Labour chief Sir Keir Starmer, the prime minister did not make the identical dedication for the "track" component of the proposed scheme, which is meant to contain the app developed by NHSX figuring out doubtlessly hundreds of contacts of those that check optimistic for coronavirus.

However, the main criticism of the app, which Levy didn't address, is that the United Kingdom has opted for a "centralized" model, where people who test positive for coronavirus upload all their recent contacts to a database, and those people are then contacted and warned.

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June 1 is also the date earmarked for the gradual reopening of schools in England.

Earlier, the PM's official spokesman told a Westminster briefing that the smartphone app being trialled on the Isle of Wight "is only one part of the system" and there was a "tried and tested" system for tracing and testing people.

But Newcastle University's Allyson Pollock, a professor of public health, said the Government's approach had raised numerous questions. Because you have to know your local community.

He added: "Whilst I am unable to give you that definitive timeline this morning, please be in no doubt as to the extent, the effort, the energy of focus that is being put on that as well".

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