UK coronavirus app ‘ready in two to three weeks’


Building a coronavirus contact-tracing app that might help the UK emerge from lockdown has been a titanic effort – and it has largely taken place in private.

NHS Digital chief executive Matthew Gould told MPs the app would be “technically ready” for deployment in “two to three weeks”.

But he made it clear it was only one part of the strategy to emerge from lockdown and would involve a none-too-subtle marketing campaign.

“If you want to protect the NHS and stop it being overwhelmed and, at the same time, want to get the economy moving, then the app is going to be an essential part of a strategy for doing that,” he said.

Contact tracing works by alerting everyone in direct contact. It may also be possible to send to indirect contacts.

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