People tested for Covid-19 in NHS hospitals and Public Health England labs were unable to share their results with the NHS’s contact-tracing app in England, it’s emerged. The Department of Health and Social Care said on Saturday evening that the difficulty, which was was revealed on Friday by the app’s official Twitter account because it skilled a complaint from someone unable to log their result, has now been fixed.
The app, which was launched two days ago, requires a code which the user said wasn’t provided within the text and email he received together with his result.
“If your test happened during a Public Health England lab or NHS hospital, or as a part of national surveillance testing by the Office for National Statistics, test results cannot currently be linked with the app whether they’re positive or negative. Thanks,” the NHS Covid-19 app Twitter account replied.
A spokeswoman for the health department said: “Everyone who receives a positive test result can log their result on the app. A minority of individuals, like hospital patients, who were unable to log their positive results can now request code when contacted by NHS Test and Trace to input on their app.” The ability to log a negative result’s still being checked out after users said they wanted to be ready to do so, she added.
On Friday, 210,375 tests were taken in England, with 29% (61,481) handled by PHE and therefore the NHS, consistent with government figures. That doesn’t include tests taken as a part of the ONS surveys, because they’re counted on a UK basis.
Since its launch, the app has been beset with problems, including complaints that it didn’t work on older phones which it had been hard to seek out and download. People who report symptoms via the app on the other handbook their test outside of the app will only get a code to input if their test result’s positive.
The launch of the NHS Covid-19 app in the week came four months later than expected. It uses Bluetooth signals to log when a user is in close contact with another user, generally meaning within 2 meters for a quarter-hour or more.
If someone then tests positive for Covid-19, they will share the result anonymously with their close contacts, who will each receive an alert and can need to isolate for 14 days.