Isle of Wight Contacing Tracing App
Isle of Wight to test contact tracing app aimed at limiting a second wave of coronavirus.
23:07 04 May 2020
The Isle of Wight is set to become the first in the UK to trial an NHS contact tracking app as part of a scheme that aims to prevent the second wave of coronavirus.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said that the government will be asking the whole UK to download the app as it "will help with a lot of the automation of the tracking."
Cabinet Minister Michael Gove appealed to more than 80,000 households on the Isle of Wight to participate in the trial.
He said: "When it comes to contract tracing, the more people who download the app developed by the NHS the better. Knowing this is a contribution that all of us can make to helping to keep our communities and neighbours safe is a very powerful incentive."
Epidemiologists are on board with the scheme saying that if all smartphone users in the United Kingdom will download the app, we are more likely to suppress the virus. However, they added that even if the take-up is lower, the spread of the disease can still be slowed down.
However, the Labour Party's Nick Thomas-Symonds said that there are challenges in deploying the trial. He said: "There are people for whom location services on their mobile devices are turned off for particular reasons."
Meanwhile, the government has also promised to launch manual contact tracing and hire 18,000 people for the job as it pursues a track-and-trace strategy with a view to lifting the lockdown.