Coronavirus: Contact Tracing

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 7th September 2020.

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Photo of Lord Bassam of Brighton Lord Bassam of Brighton Shadow Spokesperson (Further & Higher Education), Shadow Spokesperson (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) (Sport), Shadow Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and International Trade)

To ask Her Majesty's Government what comparative analysis they have undertaken of the success rates of COVID-19 contract tracing applications in other countries against that of the NHS Test and Trace scheme; and what plans they have to publish any such analysis.

Photo of Lord Bethell Lord Bethell The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

A large number of other countries have launched apps and we have been in close contact with a number of these countries to share what we are learning. We have been working in collaboration with other app development teams across the world - including Ireland, Germany, Italy, Denmark, and New Zealand to exchange ideas. This includes sharing information on download rates and other information on how apps are being used as tools in the response to COVID-19.

Like the United Kingdom, many countries are working on solutions that best support local systems while taking into account cultural and societal differences, and ultimately each country will have to adapt its approach to digital contact tracing to its own local context, including integration with its own test and trace programme.

The success of a contact tracing app will depend on a multitude of factors, including public trust, the reproduction number (R) of the country, and societal context.

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