Day: 18 June 2020

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Government Abandons NHSX Contact-Tracing App An Isle of Wight resident poses with his smartphone showing the NHS Covid-19 app. Photograph: AFP via Getty Images According to the Mail, the Telegraph, the Guardian, etc., Matt Hancock has finally given up trying to roll out the NHSX contact-tracing app. Instead, the Government will rely on the method that's been developed by Apple and Google and is already in use in most major European countries. I asked our correspondent, who's been following this slow-motion car crash since the beginning, to give us his take on this U-turn. It was over six weeks ago that this site asked, “If the app is being developed by the NHS, will it actually work?” This week we got our told-you-so moment as the Minister for Innovation, Lord Bethell, told the Science and Technology Committee that he was unable to give a date for the launch, admitting: "I won't hide from you that there are technical challenges with getting the app right." Once the mainstay of the Government’s response to COVID-19, with Matt Hancock announcing a June 1st launch in England, the NHSX contact-tracing app is now a festering embarrassment. Lord Bethell blamed the virus itself for not sticking around long enough for a Government-managed IT project to deliver. Apparently, the relatively low prevalence of the virus means ...

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