A GP has revealed she plans to delete the NHS Track and Trace app because she is continually pinged and told to go into self-isolation.
Dr Nighat Arif, from Buckinghamshire, says it ‘doesn’t surprise her’ that people want to get rid of the app, which has been heavily criticised for forcing large numbers of double-jabbed workers to stay at home .
Appearing on The Morning today, the doctor said the nature of her job means she will come into contact with patients who may test positive for Covid, but that self-isolating if she is negative for the virus puts unwarranted ‘pressure’ on her colleagues.
Host Ruth Langsford cited a survey which revealed that one in five Britons are planning on delete the app when nearly all legal restrictions on social contact are removed on July 19th.
It comes after Sage expert Dr Adam Kucharski, a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Modelling group, warned that 30,000 to 40,000 cases a day in the summer could mean more than a million contacts per day who may be eligible for quarantine.
Dr Nighat Arif, from Buckinghamshire, has revealed she plans to delete the NHS Track and Trace app because she is continually pinged and told to go into self-isolation
The This Morning doctor, pictured on the show last month, says it ‘doesn’t surprise her’ that people want to get rid of the app, which has been heavily criticised
As well as hospitality business being forced to close due to steaff being pinged, the NHS is facing similar issues with up to a fifth of staff in parts of the UK off on sick leave and self-isolation notifications increasing the burden on already threadbare rotas.
NHS statistics shows the app issued more than 350,000 alerts during the last week of June, 60 per cent up on the previous week. People are told to self-isolate even if they test negative for Covid-19 and have already had both vaccines.
Polling suggests more than a third of 18 to 24-year-olds in the UK have already deleted the app, with another third saying they were considering wiping it from their phones within the next week.
Among adults of all ages, the proportion debating deleting the app in the next six days was 20 per cent, according to a survey by Savanta ComRes.
‘I’d be one of those people,’ said Dr Arif of her plans to delete the app. ‘Because I had it, I kept on being pinged which meant I was being told to go into self-isolation, which puts pressure on my colleagues who have to see my patients.
‘If you’re going to turn off an app which allows you to have notifications on what Covid cases are around you, then it really isn’t working.
Nearly two million people a week could be forced to self- isolate by the end of the month unless ministers reform the rules. Analysis of official figures predicts that this figure will soar to 1,734,000 by July 28 if current trends continue, given the steep week-on-week rise in case and high levels of testing
‘I think there has been miscommunication and it may be over sensitive as well.
‘It would have been useful at the start of the pandemic, now we have the vaccination programme as well.’
She advised viewers to follow government guidance and undergo a PCR test if you have symptoms of Covid and to have a lateral flow test twice weekly if you are seeing no symptoms of the virus.
The GP appeared with Lori, a cafe owner from east London, who was forced to shut after receiving conflicting advice’ from Test and Trace when her staff continually got pinged.
Dr Arif said of the cafe owner: ‘She’s highlighted all of the problems we were seeing as GPs in general practice.
The GP appeared with Lori, a cafe owner from east London, who was forced to shut after receiving conflicting advice’ from Test and Trace when her staff continually got pinged
‘I had the NHS Test and Trace app because that is what everyone was told to download and I kept on being pinged.
‘The nature of my work is I’m going to have a lot of people I will come into contact with who might have tested positive for Covid.
‘The annoying thing also was there is a delay in the system as well. So our receptionist, actually, she got a ping five days later saying you should be in isolation.
‘But for five days she hadn’t been, she had been in my surgery working and seeing patients.
Dr Arif advised viewers to follow government guidance and undergo a PCR test if you have symptoms of Covid and to have a lateral flow test twice weekly if you are seeing no symptoms of the virus
Lori, who owns the Towpath cafe in Hackney, who says that being forced to close because of the Track and Trace app is ‘devastating’ for her business
Also appearing on the show was Lori, owner of the Towpath cafe in Hackney, who said that being forced to shut the doors because of the Track and Trace app is ‘devastating’ for her business, which has been forced to open and close for the last 18-months.
‘I think one of the things that is especially devastating is we were required to be closed until April and we had to hire more staff, because we used to be counter service and now we’re table service,’ said Lori.
‘We hired staff in April and they are not eligible for furlough, which seems particularly unfair, so we have the double whammy of paying for full time staff who have to isolate.
‘This is not an industry where people earn a lot of money as it is. A week off work is devastating, when you think of, were we going to send everyone to work knowing they had been pinged by the app?’
She added: ‘I think one of the problems is the advice is not clear. You call the helpline and cannot get clear advice what do you do as an employer.’