Thursday, January 27, 2022

UK dials up COVID-19 app to ease self-isolation chaos

Under pressure from businesses and unions, the UK government has dialed down its COVID-19 app to ease the labor shortage, which has resulted in large numbers of workers self-isolating.

As a result of a government review, the app will now instruct fewer people to self-isolate after coming into contact with a person who has tested positive for the CCP (Communist Party of China) virus.

While the app would earlier instruct close contacts to self-isolate five days before a positive test, it will now look at contacts only two days before a positive test.

In a statement, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “We want to minimize the disruption that can cause people and businesses to self-isolate, while ensuring that we protect people most at risk from this virus.” are protecting. This update of the app will help ensure that we are striking the right balance.”

He stressed that it is still important to isolate people to prevent the spread of the virus.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said the update “does not affect the app’s sensitivity, or change the exposure threshold, and will consequently advise high-risk contacts to self-isolate.”

It stressed that the app is “playing a vital role in breaking the chain of transmission, saving hospitalizations and lives.”

The government cited “new analysis from leading scientists” showing that, in the first three weeks of July, the app averted 2,000 cases per day and prevented 1,600 hospitalizations, assuming that 60 percent self-quarantine. Comply with separate instructions.

Although most of the lockdown restrictions have been lifted, the self-quarantine rules will remain in force till August 16.

During the week leading up to July 21, the app sent nearly 700,000 alerts across England and Wales, a record since its launch. Businesses are under stress as a significant number of their employees are pinged by the NHS app and have to self-isolate.

Downing Street said last month there were “no plans” to tweak the app, but it has now been forced to change its position to bring “Pingdemic” under control.

Labor’s shadow health minister Liz Kendall slammed the government’s U-turn.

“This is yet another COVID U-turn by ministers, when what the public needs is clarity and certainty – not chaos and mixed messages. It’s shameful and they should hold their own.”

The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) welcomed the change. It said 1,000 pubs have been forced to temporarily close due to the large number of employees being pinged.

Trade union Unite said the change does not go far enough, and reiterated its call for the automotive and steel sectors to be freed from self-isolation rules.

Steve Turner, the union’s assistant general secretary for construction, said: “The cost is catastrophic for workers and industry alike and there are real concerns that work will be carried out overseas or even the steel furnaces that may be damaged may be damaged by this industry. would be disastrous for him.”

PA contributed to this report.

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News From – The Epoch Times

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