Coronavirus: Disease Control

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 30th April 2020.

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Photo of Justin Madders Justin Madders Shadow Minister (Health and Social Care)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to re-introduce contact tracing for people who test positive for covid-19.

Photo of Nadine Dorries Nadine Dorries The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

We are building a large-scale, integrated contact tracing and testing programme. This includes a new app for contact tracing, which will complement the existing Public Health England contact tracing service. If someone becomes unwell with symptoms of COVID-19, they will be able to securely tell the National Health Service via this app. The app will then send an alert – if appropriate – to other app users that the person has been in significant contact with over the past few days, even before they had symptoms, to provide advice.

We are taking measures to test the quality of the app and working closely with some of the world’s leading tech firms and experts in digital ethics and clinical safety to get this right.

We are actively considering what the best time would be to roll-out the app after testing is completed. We are aware that scaled-up contact tracing is likely to have greatest value when we have achieved reductions in the rate of transmission.

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