In a bid to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus outbreak in the United Kingdom, Health Secretary Matt Hancock, while addressing the daily briefing, announced the next ‘part of the plan’- The test, track and trace. The programme, which will begin on the Isle of Wight, involves contact tracing and tracking via the smartphone app.
The application will help people, who have developed COVID-19 symptoms, to register. The phone app will then use ‘proximity information’ and Bluetooth signal to register people’s interactions in a bid to trace any contacts that the symptomatic person may have been involved in. According to Hancock, the new system will allow the authorities to take a more ‘targeted approach’ to fight the deadly virus.
While Hancock urged people to ‘stay at home, install the app, protect the NHS and save lives’, he also added that the government will look to roll the system out across the country in the middle of the month. He went on to say that the goal of the app is to help the government keep the R number down and ‘simply to flatten the curve’ to get the occurrence of infections very low. Furthermore, he also informed that the number of deaths in the 24 hours leading up to Monday morning was 288, which is the lowest number of deaths since the beginning of March.
Meanwhile, the UK PM Boris Johnson on April 30 said that the country is ‘past the peak’ of the COVID-19 pandemic. At his first press conference since being hospitalised with the virus, Johnson stated that the UK is past the peak and is also on the downward slope. However, he also warned that it is too soon to remove lockdown measures, and said that in coming days he would unveil a ‘comprehensive plan’ for eventually reopening the economy, schools, and workplaces.
Currently, the UK has more than 190,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and the deadly virus has claimed nearly 28,734 lives in the country. Despite the increasing number of COVID-19 cases, Johnson expressed optimism and added that the rate at which the virus is spreading among people was below one which is the outcome of the general public’s adherence to the social distancing measures. The UK authorities also believe that the virus is almost contained and the government, in the future, could both relax and tighten measures.