COVID-19 Update: U.K. Contact Tracing App in the Works, to Identify Areas with High Infection Rates

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The United Kingdom authorities and health officials are developing a new app for contact tracing, with the ability to detect areas with high-risk infections, Engadget reported.

The app reportedly presents features “useful beyond exposure warnings.” Sources from various media outlets reveal that the NHS’ innovation department is also developing the app to carry more features. This includes the “Geiger counter” map, which can detect and warn areas with higher infection areas. For instance, a neighborhood with several cases among its residents.

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Other features included in the app development are building barcodes to allow workplaces to know if they have come to contact with an infected individual. It also includes a timer for individuals prompted to implement self-quarantine.

There is no comment yet from the Department for Health and Social Care, particularly from their spokesperson regarding the official confirmation on these details. However, they emphasized the support for NHS testing and tracing services. 

Plus, there are more features to be added. According to the report, there will also be new “PPEs in the pocket” schemes in the marketing campaigns to further mitigate the issues. 

Widescale distribution of the app to test is necessary to prevent more infections leading to intensifying lockdowns. However, there are no guarantees that the public will be able to download this. 

For instance, Singapore recently launched “smart bracelets” to address the struggle of encouraging people to use the app. With these bracelets, they can easily access these apps whenever needed without pulling out devices and managing the touch screen.

There are now more than 10 million COVID-19 confirmed cases worldwide, with more than 500,000 deaths and five million recoveries. However, the number is continuously growing.

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In Asia, the Philippines has recently been declared the country with the fastest-rising number of cases in the entire Western Pacific, local media reported.

In just two weeks, the country recorded the fastest rise of confirmed cases with COVID-19 in the region, more than three times the spread in the neighboring country of Singapore, presently in the “second wave.”

There are more than 8,000 new cases in the Philippines since June 16, the highest among 22 nations in Asia. 

The Southeast Asian country is also the first in the world where a foreigner, a Chinese national, has died of the virus in its first months since December 31, 2019. 

Meanwhile, The Guardian reported care home residents in the United Kingdom were more likely to yield to COVID-19 than any other European nation, except Spain, studies have shown. 

The number of residents dying in these facilities was a third higher in Italy and Ireland, and approximately double that in Sweden and France. In Germany, the country is 13 times higher.

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