Update to NHS Covid-19 app will see change to self-isolation guidance
The NHS Covid-19 app is being updated in response to the ‘pingdemic’, the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) has said.
Updates will see fewer people who have been in close contact to people infected with the virus told to self-isolate.
The “logic” behind the app’s system will be tweaked, meaning a person will need to have been near a positive but asymptomatic individual two days prior, instead of five.
Changes do not mean the sensitivity has been altered, nor the risk threshold, DHSC said.
“We want to reduce the disruption that self-isolation can cause for people and businesses while ensuring we’re protecting those most at risk from this virus,” Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said.
“This update to the app will help ensure that we are striking the right balance.
“It’s so important that people isolate when asked to do so in order to stop the spread of the virus and protect their communities.”
A record 689,313 alerts were sent to users of the NHS Covid-19 app in England and Wales in the week to July 21.
NHS figures show a record number of people were ‘pinged’ and told they had been in close contact with someone who had tested positive for coronavirus.
As of 9am on Monday, there had been a further 21,952 lab-confirmed Covid-19 cases in the UK, the Government said.
A further 24 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Sunday, bringing the UK total to 129,743.
Separate figures published by the Office for National Statistics show there have been 154,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.