The app responsible for England’s hated ‘pingdemic’ is on the brink of death, according to experts. NHS data showed usage is up to 180 times lower than it was. MailOnline has more.
At the peak of its powers in summer, there were as many as 14.5million check-ins a week, the equivalent of around one in four people scanning a barcode once.
Yet latest figures reveal just 220,000 people used the QR-code software to sign in at pubs, restaurants and other venues in the week ending October 27, meaning usage has plummeted 60-fold nationally.
But MailOnline analysis of the NHS data shows the drop was even starker in parts of the country. Just 557 check-ins were made in Liverpool during the final week of October, compared to around 100,000 in June. Manchester and Wandsworth also saw massive drops.
Scientists today called on ministers to ‘junk’ the app for good or encourage people to use it more, warning it was now only having an ‘at best’ minimal impact on the spread of the virus.
The software was part of the £37 billion Test and Trace, which MPs labelled an “eye-watering” waste of taxpayers’ money that “did not achieve” its main objective of putting the lid on the spread of the virus. It also played a huge role in the country’s ‘pingdemic’, urging hundreds of thousands of workers to quarantine at home, leaving shelves empty and rubbish piled high in the streets.
Professor Kevin McConway, a statistician at the Open University, argued it was likely even fewer people were using the app, which cost £35 million to develop, than the figures suggested because the few still plugged in were likely using it to check-in to more than one venue a week.
He warned that checking into venues using the software was “perhaps not far off being dead”.
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