Health Care

UK track-and-trace up soon, despite issues: minister

UK track-and-trace up soon, despite issues: minister”

Health workers have warned that any failure in Britain's ability to track and trace people with the novel coronavirus and their contacts would result in a second deadly wave.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday a "world-beating" program to test and trace those suspected of having been in contact with people who have tested positive for COVID-19 would be in place by June 1.

The app, vital to helping to get Britain out of lockdown, is now being trialled on the Isle of Wight, off England's South Coast.

James Brokenshire, the junior interior minister in charge of security, said on Thursday that there were technical issues with the app but that traditional measures could be rolled out first.

He told Sky News that the app "will be introduced in the coming weeks in parallel" with the system employing track and trace staff. "We know there is frenetic work underway to deliver this but we should not be in any doubt how crucial getting this right will be", said the group's chief executive Niall Dickson.

Britain's tracing coordinator John Newton said the app would complement conventional contact-tracing, which was used in the early stage of Britain's pandemic before being abandoned as the numbers of cases soared.

More news: "Ghana Has Not Requested For Madagascar's Supposed COVID-19 Cure" - Government Clarifies

When asked about a trial in Britain and purchases of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine, he said that all drugs were tested carefully.

The NHS Confederation is calling on the government to finalise a test, track and trace strategy to avoid a potential second surge of COVID-19 cases.

The NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare sector, has written to health secretary Matt Hancock voicing concerns over an apparent lack of clear strategy by the government. To achieve this we must have national, local and cross-agency involvement.

His comments come after U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday defended taking hydroxychloroquine to try to ward off the novel coronavirus despite medical warnings about its use.

"We would therefore urge you to produce such a strategy with a clear implementation plan ahead of any further easing of the lockdown", he wrote.

"But delivery and implementation will be critical, and we await further details", he added.



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