Neighbours across the UK are being told to self-isolate because the NHS Test and Trace app is “pinging” people through walls.
Figures show more than half a million alerts were sent through the app last week, the highest number since it first came into use, raising fears of a “pingdemic” with businesses, transport and schools brought to a standstill.
Some people are being forced to self-isolate for 10-days despite never having come into face-to-face contact with a positive Covid case. There are also reports of hundreds of people being “pinged” despite not having left their homes.
The Test and Trace app team now believes the Bluetooth signal used sufficiently strong to penetrate walls, which has resulted in people being forced into quarantine because a neighbour, whose home they share a wall with, has fallen ill. This is now ‘a significant concern’ and the app’s sensitivity is being reviewed. A government spokesman would not say how many people were believed to have been pinged through walls.
It comes as the NHS app wreaks havoc, with the latest figures showing that 530,126 alerts were sent in the most recent week, that’s up 46% on the previous week and the highest 7-day total since data was first published in January. The number is more than 10-times as many as in the week to 2 June. In comparison, during the final week of April, fewer than 40,000 close contacts were pinged.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick yesterday told how the Government was becoming increasingly worried about the number of people being forced off work by the app. He said:
“We are concerned about absences as a result of being pinged. That is one of the reasons why we do need to move to a more proportionate approach. The government is going to be setting out its plans in the coming weeks, so I’m not going to pre-empt those.”