U.K. Concedes Trial Track-and-Trace App Has Security Flaws

Britain Moves Toward Nationwide Contact Tracing

The NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare sector, has written to health secretary Matt Hancock voicing concerns over an apparent lack of clear strategy by the government.

The United Kingdom's prime minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday announced the country will have a track and trace system for tracing those infected with coronavirus by June.

"But delivery and implementation will be critical, and we await further details", he added.

Security minister James Brokenshire stated he's unable to offer a definitive timeline for when the tracing app will probably be rolled out nationwide.

But under pressure from Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, the prime minister did not make the same commitment for the "track" element of the proposed scheme, which is meant to involve the app developed by NHSX identifying potentially thousands of contacts of those who test positive for coronavirus.

"We have growing confidence that we will have a test, track and trace operation that will be world-beating and yes, it will be in place by June 1", Jonnson said.

Widespread contact tracing was abandoned in mid-March as the number of cases soared in the United Kingdom, but it is now seen as a crucial component of efforts to safely ease the lockdown while avoiding a second wave of Covid-19 infections.

Junior health minister Lord Bethell indicated that the government was no longer trying to get the app - now being trialled on the Isle of Wight - into action at the same time as the tracing teams.

But Newcastle University's Allyson Pollock, a professor of public health, said the United Kingdom government's approach had raised numerous questions. "We know there is frenetic work underway to deliver this but we should not be in any doubt how crucial getting this right will be", said the group's chief executive Niall Dickson.

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