NHS Covid-19 app should allow more cases to be identified but must complement properly functioning test and trace system, says BMA

by BMA media team

Press release from the BMA

Location: England Wales
Published: Thursday 24 September 2020

As the NHS Covid-19 app launches today in England and Wales, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chair, said:

“Tracing and isolating people who have been in contact with infected individuals is important in helping prevent spread of the virus. The more people who download the app, the more people who may have Covid but otherwise wouldn’t be traced should be identified and instructed to isolated.

“The use of the app does not diminish the pressing need to have sufficient testing capacity, and must complement a properly functioning national test and trace system which can also quickly identify local outbreaks.

“The overall priority for the Government must be to drive down the infection rate via stringent public health and infection control measures. This includes minimising mixing of households indoors, rigid physical distancing of two metres rather than a confusing 1 metre ‘plus’, and consistent use of face masks in all settings where distancing is not possible. It is also crucial, even without a test, that anyone (or a member of a household) who develops symptoms must self-isolate.

“Only by employing all of these measures can we hope to minimise the spread of this deadly virus.”

Ends

Notes to editors

The BMA is a trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.