UK, (Daily Mail), 28 May 2020 - The government’s coronavirus contact tracing site crashed on launch this morning amid complaints it has been a ‘complete shambles’, which has seen workers paid £10-an-hour to sit at home and do nothing.
Doctors and other staff reported major teething troubles as the much-trumpeted scheme finally got up and running, with some saying they had not even received passwords to start work - although the public-facing web forms were not affected.
Meanwhile, NHS chiefs have warned ‘key bits’ of the system are not yet operational and it cannot be described as ‘world class’. MPs have said they were told by the head of NHS Test and Trace, Baroness Dido Harding, that the local element will not be fully in place until the end of June.
Two giant drive-thru test centres were deserted today despite the launch.
The chaotic beginning came as Health Secretary, Matt Hancock laughed off criticism over the delay to the NHS app that was meant to accompany the regime.
The Health Secretary insisted it was right to press ahead without the phone technology, suggesting it was important to ‘get people used’ to the principles.
Under the plans, anyone with symptoms will immediately self-isolate and book a test, either at a testing centre or delivered to their home. Their household should start a 14-day isolation period too.
If the test proves negative, everyone comes out of isolation. But if the test is positive, NHS contact tracers or local public health teams will call, email or send a text asking them to share details of the people they have been in close contact with and places they have visited.