Contact tracing app could halt spread of Covid-19 if downloaded by 60 per cent of the population

Every download of the NHS’s contact tracing app could stop one infection of the Coronavirus, a Oxford professor working on the project has said. 

Prof Christophe Fraser, who has been researching how the app will work in practice, said it could be released ‘within weeks’ as part of efforts to prevent a second wave of infection when lockdown restrictions are eased.

Speaking on the Andrew Marr Show this morning, the academic said that computer modelling showed the app could effectively halt the spread of Covid-19, if 60 per cent of the population downloaded and used it.

NHSX, the digital arm of the health service, is currently developing an app that will use phones’ Bluetooth connections to log which people come into close contact with each other.

The Telegraph understands that when a user comes down with flu-like symptoms they will be able to answer questions in the app, which will diagnose the likelihood of them having Covid-19.

In that case, a notification will be sent to all the people logged as being in contact with that user telling them to self-isolate, and the user will be directed to get test.

Prof. Fraser’s team released research earlier this month that analysed how the contact tracing app would work in a UK city of one million people.

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