The Health Secretary Matt Hancock led today’s Briefing detailing the test, track and trace pilot on the Isle of Wight, which will ultimately lead to a ‘more targeted approach to lockdown’.
The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock presented the daily figures for COVID-19 in the UK:
1,291,000 tests have now taken place
190,584 people have tested positive
28,734 people have now died across all settings
288 more deaths have been announced since the previous day’s figures
Hancock gave more information on the Government’s test, track and trace programme, which will allow a ‘more targeted approach to lockdown’ while ‘safely containing the disease’.
From tonight, the initiative will begin its pilot on the Isle of Wight, Hancock said: ‘Where the Isle of Wight goes, Britain follows’.
The island is considered a controlled environment to carry out such a test. NHS workers will be first and able to download the track and trace app from tomorrow. On Thursday, the 80,000 households on the island will receive a letter explaining the pilot and inviting them to download the app.
The app has been through testing at an RAF base but this will be the first time it’s made publicly available. Using a ‘form of Bluetooth’ that ‘conserves power’, the app should be used to report COVID-related symptoms to the NHS, which will then send an alert to other phones that have been in close proximity.
While the test, track and trace programme will allow the Government to ‘learn a lot’ and ‘make things better’, social distancing will only end when the five tests are met.
Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, Deputy Chief Medical Officer of England, presented daily slides.