More than a million downloads of NHS Covid-19 app on day of launch

On the day of its launch, the NHS Covid-19 app was downloaded more than a mllion times by Android users, according to Google Play store.

THIS figure is expected to be higher whe iPhone information is revealed and added.

The contact tracing app, launched early yesterday morning (Thursday, September 24), uses Bluetooth to keep an anoymous log of people a user has been in close proximity with.

An alert will be sent if they have been near someone who has tested positive.

A mixed response to the app from other countries prompted delays in the launch, amid concerns over its effectiveness.

The app was first trialled in the London borough of Newham and the Isle of Wight, said NHS Test and Trace, which manages the service.

Technical problems forced a rethink and a revised version was put to the test in the same areas, with the inclusion of NHS volunteers.

Aware that the app’s success is based on the number of people who use it, a television awareness campaign “Protest your loved ones. Get the app,” will be rolled out from this evening.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock stressed the importance of using “every tool at our disposal to prevent transmission, including the latest technology”, as confirmed cases of conoronavirus continue to rise daily.

“We all need to play our part to keep the #coronavirus under control”, he tweeted.

Hancock added that “we have worked extensively with tech companies, international partners, and privacy and medical experts – and learned from the trials – to develop an app that is secure, simple to use and will help keep our country safe”.

He said the launch of the app marks an important step forward in the fight against the killer virus, and urged the public to download and use the tool.

Using an Apple and Google system, and Bluetooth, the NHS Test and Trace app keeps a track of people a user has been near to.

If a person tests positive, they can notify the app, which transfers the information to a main server, which then sends alerts to app users looking for a match.

Along with a notification, advise on what to do next will be sent.

Users can check-in to venues and establishments using a QR code scanning feature, and their information can be shared to help with tracing.

The code scanning facility has already been downloaded by 160,000 businesses.

Public Health England revealed 6,634 new positive cases were recorded yesterday (Thursday, September 25), bringing the tally to 416,363.

It also confirmed there were 40 new deaths across the UK, taking the total to 41,902.

“The more people use the new #NHSCOVID19app, the more we can keep each other safe and stop infection rates rising. Protect your loved ones and download the app now:,” PHE added.

Vodafone, Three, EE and O2, giffgaff, Tesco Mobile, Sky Mobile and Virgin Mobile have agreed there will be no data charges on all in-app activity, so there will be charge for using it.

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Written by

Tara Rippin

Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.

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