You can unsubscribe at any time.Thank you for subscribingWe have more newslettersShow meSee ourprivacy noticeThe government Test and Trace app system has warned over 1.7 million people to self isolate since it was launched in September.The app was initially announced by Health Secretary Matt Hancock in April but was best by technical issues and delays, and wasn available for use until months into the Covid 19 pandemic.But now, health bosses insist the smart phone app has become “an important tool in our pandemic response”, and has been downloaded 21.63 million times. The Department for Health says that equivalent to 56% of the eligible population, and that the app was the second most downloaded free app on the Apple App Store in 2020.The system has now told more than 1.7 million app users across England and Wales to self isolate following a close contact with someone who goes on to test positive, according to new data published on Tuesday.The Department for Health says it will now be publishing weekly data on the number of people contacted by the Test and Trace app, as research by scientists at The Alan Turing Institute and Oxford University shows that each 1% increase in app users, could cut the number of coronavirus cases by 2.3%.Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “The NHS Covid 19 App is an important tool in our pandemic response.”We know it has instructed hundreds of thousands of at risk people to self isolate since it launched in September including me and this analysis shows it has been hugely effective at breaking chains of transmission, preventing an estimated 600,000 cases.”Isolating and knowing when you have been at risk of catching coronavirus is essential to stopping the spread of this virus, and the app is the quickest way to notify you if you are at risk.Read MoreThe 7 places you can get a coronavirus vaccine in Sunderland”I want to thank all those who have played their part by downloading and using the app, and urge those who haven’t to take the simple step to protect your communities and loved ones and download it”As well as contact tracing and booking a test, the app symptom checker allows people to assess whether they should be seeking a test. The government says coronavirus symptoms have been reported into the app over 1.4 million times in England and Wales since 24 September, while over 3.1 million test results have been entered into the app across England and Wales, of which 825,388 were positive.Test and Trace chief Baroness Dido Harding added: “There can be no doubt the NHS Covid 19 app is a vital tool in stopping the spread of coronavirus, having sent over 1.7 million notifications to tell people who have been exposed to the virus to self isolate since launch.”The app, which works as a part of the wider NHS Test and Trace programme in England, helps us to reach more people quickly to protect communities, by notifying contacts as quickly as 15 minutes after a user enters a positive result.Read MoreNewcastle Arriva bus driver dies after testing positive for Covid 19, company confirms”The app continues to protect our essential workers during this lockdown, and will continue to play an important role in the future as we come out of national restrictions.”.
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