The government’s move to de-sensitise the NHS Covid app could stem the flow of workers deleting it, according to the co-founder of Square Health.
The app has come under criticism over the last two months for warning hundreds of thousands of people to isolate after prime minister Boris Johnson chose to end almost all public health precautions and further open-up the economy in England while the Delta variant was surging throughout the country.
This prompted many to delete the app and the government to introduce rules allowing workers in certain industries to undergo daily testing instead of complying with the isolation period.
However yesterday, the government revealed that it was changing the app in England and Wales so fewer contacts will be told to self isolate following a close contact with someone carrying the virus.
The reduced awareness means that the app will only look for contacts two days prior, rather than five, when someone without symptoms tests positive for Covid.
Dr Bippon Vinayak, executive chairman and co-founder of Square Health (pictured), told Health & Protection that he welcomed the move, noting that keeping people engaged with the app was vital.
“According to the Department for Health and Social Care, 40% of the eligible population regularly use the app, and around 50% of all reported tests get logged via it,” he said.
“If these figures are accurate, then the app has an important role and this is a welcome step by the government to build public confidence and hopefully stop more people deleting it.”