Under pressure from businesses and trade unions, the UK government has dialed down the COVID-19 app to alleviate the labor shortage caused by the large number of workers having to self-isolate.
As a result of government review, the app has fewer people instructed to self-quarantine after contacting people who test positive for the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
The app previously instructed close contacts to self-quarantine 5 days before the positive test, but now looks back at the contacts 2 days before the positive test.
In a statement, Health Minister Sajid Javid said: With this app update, you can maintain the right balance. “
He emphasized that it is still important for people to quarantine when asked to quarantine to limit the spread of the virus.
The Department of Health (DHSC) advised that this update “does not affect the sensitivity of the app or change the risk threshold, and that the same number of high-risk contacts self-isolate. “.
The app “continues to play an important role in breaking the chain of infections, preventing hospitalizations and saving lives,” he claimed.
The government quoted “a new analysis by top scientists” that in the first three weeks of July, the app avoided up to 2,000 cases per day and was 60% compliant with self-quarantine instructions. Assuming that it prevented 1,600 hospitalizations.
Most blockade restrictions have been lifted, but self-quarantine rules are in effect until August 16.
The app sent about 700,000 alerts in the UK and Wales during the week leading up to July 21st. This is the record since its release. Companies are in a tense situation as many workers are pinged by the NHS app and need to be self-quarantined.
Downing Street said last month that it had “no plans” to tweak the app, but is now forced to change its position to control the “pindemic.”
Labor’s shadow health minister, Liz Kendall, has accused the government of a U-turn.
“This isn’t a mess or mixed message, but yet another COVIDU turn from the minister of an era when the public needs clarity and certainty. It’s chambolic and they need to get a grip,” she said. Said.
The British Beer Pub Association (BBPA) welcomed this change. A large number of staff pinged, forcing up to 1,000 pubs to temporarily close.
Trade union Unite said the change was not well underway and repeated calls for the automotive and steel sectors to be exempt from self-quarantine rules.
Steve Turner, Deputy General Secretary of Manufacturing for the union, said: “
PA contributed to this report.