The U.K. government’s “NHS COVID-19” contact tracing app has alerted 1.7 million users across England and Wales to isolate following their close contact with a user that tested positive for the coronavirus.
That information comes via a GOV.UK press release from the Department of Health and Social Care. The department has been collecting data about the app since its September 2020 release.
Over 1.7 million app users across England and Wales have been advised to isolate by the NHS COVID-19 app following a close contact with someone who goes on to test positive, new data published today shows.
The NHS COVID-19 app has been breaking chains of transmission to protect users and their communities since its launch in September.
The app, which uses Apple’s and Google’s anonymized Exposure Notification API, is designed to track users that come into contact with each other by using Bluetooth. The app notifies a user if one of the people in contact comes down with the coronavirus.
From the app’s App Store entry:
The NHS COVID-19 app is the official contact tracing app for England and Wales.
It is the fastest way of knowing when you’re at risk from coronavirus. The quicker you know, the quicker you can alert your loved ones, and your community.
The more of us that use it, the better we can control coronavirus.
The app runs on proven software developed by Apple and Google, designed so that nobody will know who or where you are. And you can delete your data, or the app, at any time.
It has a number of features:
Trace: Find out when you’ve been near other app users who have tested positive for coronavirus
Alert: Lets you know the level of coronavirus risk in your postcode district.
Check-in: Use our simple QR code scanner to check-in to venues like bars and restaurants. You will get alerted if you have visited a venue where you may have come into contact with coronavirus.
Symptoms: Check if you have coronavirus symptoms and see if you need to order a test.
Test: Helps you order a test if you need to.
Isolate: Keep track of your self-isolation countdown and access relevant advice.
Available in English, Welsh, Arabic (Modern Standard), Bengali, Chinese (Simplified), Gujarati, Polish, Punjabi (Gurmukhi script), Romanian, Somali, Turkish and Urdu.
The app can be used across UK borders in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Jersey and Gibraltar, detecting all relevant contact tracing app users (regardless of them using different official apps), alerting them if they have been in contact with coronavirus.
The app has been built in collaboration with some of the most innovative organisations in the world. We have worked with medical experts, privacy groups, at-risk communities and we’ve shared knowledge with the teams working on similar apps in many countries.
Protect your loved ones. Please download the app.
The App is CE marked as a class I medical device in the United Kingdom and developed in compliance with European Commission Directive 93/42/EEC for class I devices.
The Department of Health and Social Care says the app has now been downloaded 21.63 million times, representing 56% of the eligible population aged 16+ that has a smartphone. Analysis suggests approximately 600,000 cases have been prevented by the app since September. The app notifies contacts as quickly as 15 minutes after a user inputs a positive test result.
Research conducted by scientists at The Alan Turing Institute and Oxford University shows for every 1% increase in app users, the number of coronavirus cases in the population can be reduced by 2.3%.