During the run up to the launch of the Contact Tracing App, the authorities; Public Health Isle of Wight, IW council and the MP, showed willing to ensure the media were were briefed and queries were answered swiftly.
Three weeks after the launch of the App things seem to have changed.
Waiting eight days
Eight days ago, via the Isle of Wight council, News OnTheWight put a number of straightforward questions to Simon Bryant (Public Health Isle of Wight) and Geraint Lewis (Chief Data Officer, NHS England), but despite prompting a number of times, they have still failed to answer the questions.
News OnTheWight asked:
- How many C19 tests have taken place on the Island since testing began?
- What’s the split between hospital, care homes, testing centre, App reports?
- How many tests have been ordered since the introduction of the App?
- How many of the new confirmed cases since 5th May are from tests carried out via the App?
- How many contact tracers are there on the Isle of Wight?
- If none, are there plans to have local contact tracers, or will it be centralised?
- What’s the latest number of downloads of the App?
- How many App users have been notified that they’ve been near someone who has symptoms since the App launched?
Answers still important
The launch of the Test and Trace programme starts today (Thursday 28th), but the Contact Tracing App has been reported as not being ready to launch across the UK.
At a time of high anxiety for many people, answers to questions in the public interest are vital to avoid the spread of misinformation.
News OnTheWight will update readers once we receive the answers to our questions.
Gov: “Numbers are being verified”
A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care got in touch with News OnTheWight to explain that a major evaluation of all the data was underway.
They are ‘doing their best’ to get the figures verified and hope to publish the figures near the end of next week. Also included will be the results of the survey that was carried out on the Island in the last weeks.
5.25pm 29th May 2020 – Update from Dept of HSC added