Contract tracing has reached England and Wales – The NHS Covid-19 application already has one million downloads

As the numbers begin to rise once again, the timing of the new app developed to increase the public’s knowledge on where the virus is in regards to their location, couldn’t be better. The application is meant to detect if someone is near an infected person, after which it instructs the user to self-isolate for 14 days. This user-friendly application was created to help locating at-risk people with better efficiency than human contact tracers. Health Secretary Matt Hancock explained in a BBC Radio 4 programme how the app is necessary for everyone; it is there to protect the community as a whole. Of course, the self-isolation the application recommends is voluntary, and the self-isolation alert is kept in confidentiality. Infact, the developers pride themselves in the data privacy per user they have been able to achieve, with this being one of the countries biggest worries.

There is conflicting information about the fines one might face when ignoring a self-isolation alert. The Department of Health was noted to have set a fine of a £1000 and above for those ignoring the alert, this however is contradicted by the BBC who’s sources explain that such rule cannot be, in reality, legally enforced. And in reality, are they really being enforced?

It is notable to mention that one must be over 16 to download the application. This is the result of the health chiefs wish to expand the applications usage to as many universities and colleges as possible.

About the latest numbers – as of 24th of September 2020, the UK has a reported a shocking daily increase up to 6,178 cases, making the total to a whopping 409,729 (Wilkes, 2020). This surge in cases is being considered the official second wave of the SARS-CoV-2. Will we ever get this under control?

Source: L. Kelion and C.J. Rory, (2020). NHS Covid-19 app: One million downloads of contact tracer for England and Wales. BBC News.

J. Wilkes (2020). UK coronavirus cases soar by 6,178 in third highest daily increase ever. Mirror