Coronavirus: Test-and-trace to launch next week after 25,000 trackers recruited

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The authorities’s flagship test-and-trace system will launch on the finish of this week, simply forward of Boris Johnson’s June deadline.

Ministers have recruited 25,000 contact tracers as a part of what they are saying would be the largest digital name centre operation within the nation.

But the a lot lauded NHS app shouldn’t be anticipated to be prepared in time for the launch.

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No 10 stated final week that the app, which has been trialled on the Isle of Wight, can be prepared inside weeks.

Matt Hancock, the well being secretary, had set a goal of the center of May to launch the programme, which is able to hint the contacts of anybody contaminated with the illness.

People might be warned that they’ve been in shut proximity of somebody with coronavirus and be suggested to isolate.

Experts say contact tracing is the important thing to controlling the illness, as seen in different international locations like South Korea.

The UK authorities has confronted criticism for abandoning its tracing programme in March when the variety of instances turned overwhelming.

Mr Johnson has warned {that a} coronavirus vaccine may nonetheless be a 12 months away or, presumably by no means be discovered.

Ministers imagine the track-and-trace programme is essential to avoiding a second peak of infections.

Under the system tracers might be in contact with those that check optimistic for the virus and request the main points of anybody they’ve been in extended shut contact with lately.

Detailed steering for the general public might be set out later this week.

A No 10 spokesperson stated: “A test-and-trace system permits us to isolate new infections in order that we are able to management the unfold of this virus, which might be very important whereas coronavirus stays current within the UK. As we proceed on the highway to restoration, this can imply that in time lockdown will now not be crucial for the overwhelming majority of the general public and as a substitute it is going to be doable for there to be a focused lockdown for a small variety of folks.

“For this to be effective, everyone will need to stay alert and play their part to control the virus and save lives. By working with our tracers and complying with the rules, the public will avoid unknowingly spreading the virus to their loved ones and this new test and trace service will help to control coronavirus.”

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