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Track and Trace ; Hunting down the virus

May 16, 2020 1:06 PM
Originally published by Babergh South Suffolk Liberal Democrats

nnb (Photo by Avel Chuklanov on Unsplash)The issue of the proposal that unpaid volunteers should be recruited for swab testing caused controversy. Boots have now withdrawn their advertisement after a great deal of criticism. We await to see if this is a permanent decision.

A second element of track and trace was the recruitment of 18000 people to help with tracing contacts of those with a virus. Brandon Lewis the Northern Ireland Secretary on the radio today admitted only 1500 had been recruited as yet. When trying to Big up the numbers he also said total applications were only 15000 still below the target

Concerns about personal privacy have seen a cross party group of MPs and Peers on the joint committee on human rights (JCHR) draft a Bill to ensure that after the pandemic all centrally held data collected from the smartphone tracking app is destroyed. This is an issue only because the Government has chosen to have its own app rather than that jointly developed by Apple and Google which stores the information only on the phone itself. There have also been stories that the Government's app is power hungry and drains the phone battery which could deter its take-up

Three separate stories but all joined by the fact that effective track, trace and isolate is a pre-requisite of a safe easing of lock-down.

We still have a long way to go!