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England launches improved contact tracking app trial


LONDON (Reuters)-The UK Ministry of Health released a delayed test tracking app for England on Thursday after a technical issue prompted rethinking its approach and system changes.

Photo of the file: On July 1, 2020 in London, England, we see shoppers pass by signs of social distance after the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) disease. REUTERS/ Toby Melville

Test and trace programs have been the key to detecting the COVID-19 surge and restarting the economy, but have been plagued with problems.

The smartphone app developed by the National Health Service (NHS) was initially scheduled to roll out in May, but was not materialized. In June, the government released a system developed by Apple from its own model (AAPL.O) And Google (GOOGL.O).

“We’ve worked with technology companies, international partners, privacy and healthcare professionals to develop apps that are easy to use, safe and help keep our country safe,” said Health Minister Matt Hancock. It was

This app, like the first one, will be tested on the Isle of Wight in southern England. It is also tested by healthcare professionals.

The ministry said it “tracks viruses, not people,” because it was designed with privacy in mind, but it logs the time and distance one person spends near another person, and later COVID. Warn if -19 is positive.

You can also scan a QR code, such as a barcode, to record your visit to the venue.

The Apple-Google model’s privacy-centric decentralized system contrasts with the centralized approach that the UK previously used, and app releases follow a pivot to a more local approach for testing and tracing. ..

On Monday, the government said the tracking program would be targeted more locally, reducing the number of contact trackers at the national level.

Despite delays and problems with the testing and tracing system, Prime Minister Boris Johnson described this as a “global blow”, while authorities weakened the centrality of the app and in the program “Cherry of Cake” There is.

Report by Paul Sandle and Alistair Smout, edited by Estelle Shirbon


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