NHS Covid app sends record number of ‘pings’

Image credit: ft.com

The NHS Covid app has sent out an unprecedented number of contact-tracing messages, alerting users to the possibility of being exposed to someone who has tested positive for the virus.

698,646 pings were transmitted to persons in England and Wales between the 16th and 22nd of December. That’s up from the previous high of 690,711 texts sent in seven days in July. The figures for the Christmas season have yet to be disclosed.

If they are unvaccinated and over 18, anyone notified by the app with a close contact alert is recommended to perform daily COVID tests or self-isolate to limit the risk of COVID transmission, but there is no legal necessity for them to do so.

During the summer, the app generated worry when significant numbers of workers in a variety of industries got pings, preventing them from doing their duties while they were isolated.

According to a poll done at the time, one-third of 18-34-year-olds had removed the app, and another third planned to do so.

Some users have lately complained on Twitter about receiving a warning more than a week after being exposed to someone with COVID, diminishing the service’s utility.

Positive test result reports also reached a new high in England and Wales, with 243,406 reported in the same seven-day period ending on December 22. Not everyone who receives a positive outcome will download the app or share their results.

According to official figures, the number of positive cases in the UK has reached an all-time high in recent days, with 189,213 added on the 30th alone.

Different contact-tracking apps are utilised in Scotland and Northern Ireland. The Protect Scotland app sent a record amount of contact notifications over the period, according to Scotland data. The BBC has inquired about the Department of Health in Northern Ireland.

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