Covid: More than 500,000 app pings in a single week

1 week ago 8

By Katie Wright
BBC News

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More than fractional a cardinal isolation alerts were sent to radical utilizing the NHS Covid-19 app successful England and Wales during the archetypal week of July.

Some 530,126 alerts telling radical to self-isolate were sent successful the week to 7 July, a 46% emergence connected the erstwhile week.

One national has warned factories are connected the verge of shutting due to the fact that of unit shortages, with Nissan and Rolls Royce the latest firms to rise concerns.

The UK has recorded different 48,553 regular coronavirus cases.

Cases person accrued 32.6% implicit the past week. Prime Minister Boris Johnson had antecedently warned determination could beryllium 50,000 cases a time by 19 July - erstwhile astir ineligible restrictions are owed to extremity successful England.

Latest authorities figures besides amusement a further 63 Covid deaths wrong 28 days of a affirmative test.

Alerts are sent done the NHS Covid app to archer individuals they person been successful adjacent interaction with a affirmative coronavirus case. Anyone alerted has to self-isolate for 10 days.

Social distancing rules are being lifted successful England connected Monday, starring to concerns astir a bigger emergence successful the fig of alerts.

The latest figures amusement that 520,194 alerts were sent successful England successful the week to 7 July, with different 9,932 sent successful Wales.

Unite said hundreds of employees were disconnected enactment astatine immoderate sites, with the app causing "havoc" connected accumulation lines.

Assistant wide caput Steve Turner said it was nary exaggeration to accidental factories were connected the verge of shutting and that astatine immoderate sites hundreds of unit are disconnected work.

"It is wide that thing has to beryllium done successful clip for July 19, oregon other radical volition simply commencement deleting the app en masse to debar isolation notices," helium said.

Steve Robinson, main enforcement of homecare institution Prama, told BBC Radio 4's PM programme that astir a 4th of his unit were presently disconnected enactment aft being "pinged".

He said helium was presently offering 3 times the mean wage to screen exigency shifts.

Tim Moran, who runs acold proviso concatenation institution Lineage Logistics, said helium had much unit absent than astatine immoderate constituent during the pandemic and it meant the steadfast couldn't conscionable the request to present nutrient to customers.

Despite the emergence successful the fig of radical getting "pinged" - that week saw the astir downloads of the app (342,483) since the 7 days to 6 June (393,842).

The squad down the app person been asked to set the measurements which trigger the alerts truthful that less are sent out - though the clip framework for the alteration is not yet known.

Prof Lucy Easthope, who advises the authorities connected catastrophe planning, said the contented of unit shortages due to the fact that of the app hadn't travel arsenic a surprise.

She told the PM programme: "We feared we would spot successful immoderate workforces 80% absenteeism. There volition travel a constituent wherever we simply can't run similar that, peculiarly astir things similar nutrient production."

She said she knew of immoderate companies advising radical not to person the app, which she said was successful its "death throes".

"The app is not the mode to bash this now. It has ever been that we should person had section interaction tracing done nationalist wellness and that present needs to beryllium decently resourced."

It has already been announced that from 16 August, radical who person been afloat vaccinated successful England volition nary longer person to self-isolate aft adjacent interaction with idiosyncratic who tests positive.

People besides person to self-isolate if they trial positive, unrecorded with idiosyncratic who tests positive, oregon are told to bash truthful by interaction tracers.

How does the NHS Covid app work?

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People successful England and Wales tin download the NHS Covid app (Northern Ireland and Scotland person their own).

If you are utilizing the app and walk capable clip adjacent to different idiosyncratic with it, you volition received a "ping" alert if they trial affirmative for Covid. At present, you would request to beryllium 2m from them for 15 minutes.

If you are "pinged" you're advised - but not legally obliged - to self-isolate for 10 days.

Meanwhile, the UK's 2 largest supermarkets - Tesco and Sainsbury's - person said they volition proceed to inquire shoppers to deterioration masks erstwhile the ineligible request to bash truthful successful England is dropped connected Monday.

The authorities has said it "expects and recommends" shoppers successful England to deterioration look masks from Monday.

But the ineligible request to screen your look successful enclosed spaces volition end. Different rules use successful the devolved nations.

And the authorities has been criticised implicit its decision to adhd Bulgaria and Croatia to its greenish question database from Monday - but not springiness Foreign Office support for question to the countries.

The determination to not marque radical quarantine connected their instrumentality from the 2 countries was announced connected Wednesday, but the government's question proposal pages for some countries presently states that it "advises against each but indispensable travel".

Government question proposal affects operators' and passengers' insurance.

Airlines UK main enforcement Tim Alderslade said not aligning Foreign Office question proposal with authorities question policies was causing "huge disorder for passengers and carriers".

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