The British system for tracing people with the novel corona virus was under attack on Thursday when it was struggling to develop a tracking app and health officials warned the government that if there were no clarity, it could suffer a second fatal wave.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday that a "world-leading" program to track and screen people suspected of being in contact with people who tested positive for COVID-19 should be implemented by June 1 .
The UK is currently testing the app – based on Bluetooth – on the Isle of Wight off the south coast of England, where the government has downloaded more than half of the population.
James Brokenshire, the junior Home Secretary for Security, said there were technical issues with the app, but traditional measures could be implemented first.
"The track and trace system will be ready," Brokenshire told Sky News.
"Of course, we want to make sure the app is set up well and effectively by learning from the Isle of Wight experience and dealing with any feedback we get on some technical issues to make sure the app works." is as strong as we can make it. "
When asked if the system could work without the app, he said: "Yes".
Britain left the track in mid-March as the number of cases increased. But an effective system is now seen as crucial to prevent a deadly second wave of outbreak – and to get the economy back on track after the ban.
Risk of a second wave of infection
The government has recruited 21,000 trackers in England to manually track the contacts of people who tested positive for COVID-19 by phone and email.
The availability of tests – another basic requirement for an effective program – has also been expanded.
Technology is the third plank of the system. An app can help identify anonymous contacts, e.g. B. Encounters with public transportation.
However, Britain's progress has been criticized: opposition lawmakers said an earlier promise of a nationwide rollout of a smartphone app developed by the National Health Service (NHS) had lapsed in mid-month.
The competitive technology developed by Apple and Google was launched in several other countries on Wednesday. The companies said they were in talks with the UK about the system.
The NHS Confederation, a group representing health care organizations, said the UK is at risk of a second leap in cases with no clarity about government strategy.
"Relaxing restrictions based on scientific recommendations is the right approach, but must be accompanied by an effective test, track and trace strategy that enables us to monitor the local spread of the disease," said the federal government.
"To do this, we need to get involved at the national, local, and inter-agency level. Without it, we're at risk of a second wave of infections."
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and is generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)