The National Health Service in Great Britain & Ireland has struggled to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Lack of ICU availability prompted an overwhelming number of infected personnel throughout England. Combating this pandemic required the usage of modern technologies that most can access, including mobile devices. The National Health Service devised an application for smartphones & released it to the general public on September 24th, months after it’s the initial announcement.
The NHS Covid-19 Application hasn’t maintained reliable consistency, with the app prompting alerts that state someone nearby has been exposed to Covid-19. These alerts disappear moments later, causing for concern & confusion amongst users. NHS Management has received an influx of complaints regarding ghost messages. Those believing they’ve contracted the coronavirus from a nearby figure are likely to complete PCR tests. Availability of these tests are limited & shouldn’t be used unless symptoms are experienced, or transmission is encountered.
Management defended the NHS Covid-19 Application, evoking that the Apple & Google operating systems imposed these messages through the privacy notification setting. It’s an underlying setting that’s used by all contact-tracing applications worldwide. However, NHS Management released an update that enables follow-up messages to be sent. The system will recognize when false reports are sent and replace those notifications with a secondary message that tells users to ignore the first prompt.
Northern Ireland & Scotland have maintained their respective versions of the COVID-19 Application. The NHS variant supports Great Britain & Southern Ireland in informal data regarding infection zones. Both nations saw phantom alerts sent to their phones until an update was released on September 12th.
Phantom messages informed users of possible exposure to COVID-19, providing details like the date & duration of that individual’s infection. Follow-up notifications will guarantee users that risk assessments have been conducted & that action on their end isn’t required. Messages will end by requesting users stay vigilant & review the latest physical distancing protocols.
Android & Apple have been requested to resolve their respective technical matters. Until both software companies manage to release an update for the privacy notification setting, phantom messages will continue.