Health expert reveals what he needs for effective contact tracing to beat coronavirus

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Contact tracing refers to tracing people who have been close contact with someone found to have coronavirus. Greg Fell, director of Public Health Sheffield, was asked if he had enough data to be able to contact trace effectively. Mr Fell responded: “No, not yet.

“Interestingly, I’ve had two emails and two texts this evening that have told me I’ll have data down to the level of about 1,500 people over the weekend.

“I need that data regularly and in real time, so I can spot trends over a long period in time”

An app is being developed for contact tracing purposes.

The idea is for NHS contact tracers to be able to contact people and ask them to self-isolate for a fortnight.

There is hope that effective contact tracing will mean lockdowns can become more localised.

Anyone in England with coronavirus symptoms can now get a test.

If the test has a positive result, you will be asked to login to the Test and Trace NHS website.

You will be asked to provide personal information for yourself, people you live with, places you have visited recently and people you have been in close contact with in the 48 hours before symptoms started.

The close contacts are people you have spent more than 15 minutes with at a distance of less than two metres.

It also includes people you have direct contact with.

This includes sexual partners, members of the same household and people you have had face to face conversations with at a distance of less than a metre.

No one contacted as a result of contact tracing will be given the identity of the person they were in contact with.

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The app to help with contact tracing is still being trialled in the Isle of Wight.

Business and Industry Under-Secretary Nadhim Zahawi has said the app should be in place by the end of June.

This news comes as UK coronavirus deaths has exceeded the 40,000 figure.

A further 357 deaths means the total figure is now 40,261.

The United States with 108,000 deaths is the only other country to have passed the milestone.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said at the latest briefing, every death represented “a family that will never be the same again”.

Mr Hancock added: “My heart goes out to them all and it makes me redouble my determination to deal with this virus.”

He said from now all visitors and outpatients to hospitals will have to wear face coverings at all times.

He also urged people who had beaten coronavirus to donate blood plasma for a research trial.

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