UK COVID-19 tracking system under fire amid second peak warning

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain's system for tracking people with the new coronavirus was under fire on Thursday due to the development of a tracking application, and health professionals warned the government that, unless there was clarity , could suffer a second deadly wave.

ARCHIVE PHOTO: UK National Health Service employee Anni Adams shows a smartphone displaying the new NHS app to track contacts with people potentially infected with coronavirus disease (COVID-19) being tested on the Isle of Wight, Britain, 5 May 2020. REUTERS / Isla Binnie

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday that a "world hit" program to test and track suspects who had come into contact with people who tested positive for COVID-19 will be in place until June 1.

Britain is currently testing the application – based on Bluetooth – on the Isle of Wight, off the south coast of England, where the government says more than half of the residents have downloaded it.

James Brokenshire, junior interior minister in charge of security, said there were technical problems with the application, but that traditional measures would be used until it worked.

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"The tracking and tracking system will be ready," Brokenshire told Sky News.

“Obviously, we want to see if the app has been implemented effectively and efficiently, learning from the Isle of Wight experience and dealing with all the feedback we're getting about some of the technical issues, to make sure the app is as strong as we can do ".

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When asked directly if the system could work without the application, he said, "Yes".

Tracking and tracking the infected is seen as crucial to preventing a second deadly wave from the outbreak – and thus getting the economy to function again after the blockade.

But Britain's system has been haunted by criticism: opposition lawmakers said the earlier promise of a nationwide deployment of a smartphone app developed by the National Health Service (NHS) had fallen in the middle of this month.

The NHS Confederation, a group representing health care organizations, said the United Kingdom is in danger of a second leap in unclear cases in the government's strategy.

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"Relaxing restrictions based on scientific advice is the right approach, but it must be accompanied by an effective test, screening and screening strategy that allows us to monitor the local spread of the disease," said the confederation.

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“To achieve this, we need to have national, local and inter-agency involvement. Without that, we face the risk of a second wave of infections. "

When asked about a UK hydroxychloroquine trial, U.S. President Donald Trump says he takes it, Brokenshire said that all drugs were tested carefully. When asked if he would accept it, he said he thought there was no need to make such statements.

His comments came after Trump on Tuesday advocated taking hydroxychloroquine to try to ward off the new coronavirus, despite medical warnings about its use.

"I'm taking hydroxychloroquine," said Trump, 73, on May 18. "All I can say is that so far it looks like I'm fine."

Brokenshire also said that restrictions on Britain's arrival from abroad would be introduced early next month. He declined to give further details.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton; edition of Michael Holden, William Maclean

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