Isle of Wight residents, who have been kept in the dark about the future of the Coronavirus Contact Tracing App may be surprised to learn that it is no longer “a priority”.
Responding to questions at the Science and Technology Committee on Wednesday afternoon, the Minister for Innovation at the Department of Health and Social Care, Lord Bethell, said he was not sure if the Contact Tracing App – which was due to rolled out across the country at the beginning of June – would be out by winter.
Project leads to step back
In addition, the BBC report that the project’s two lead managers – Matthew Gould (NHS Digital) and Geraint Lewis (Public Health England) – are stepping back.
They say they’d intended for the App to be rolled out nationally by now, but had always planned to move back to their previous roles this month.
Bethell: No longer “a priority”
Isle of Wight residents have been trialling the App for over six weeks. News OnTheWight reported last week that Ministers were considering a different approach.
In answer to a question about the App at yesterday’s committee, Lord Bethell said,
“We are seeking to get something going for the winter, but it isn’t the priority for us at the moment.”
Still on version 1.02
News that the Contact Tracing App is no longer a priority might explain why users still only have access to version 1.02 – which does not include the symptoms of anosmia (a loss of taste or smell). It should have been updated over four weeks ago on 18th May.
This makes the Isle of Wight death rate 40.1 per cent – higher than some countries around the World have recorded.
Read the BBC article in full.
Government Covid-19 guidance: Stay alert and stay safe
Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently (video tips).
It is recommended that you maintain at least a two metre gap (about 6.5ft) from people who are not from your household.
Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service that can tell if you need medical help and advise you what to do.
Thanks to Mike Taplin for the heads-up.