Researchers in the UK have launched a coronavirus tracking smartphone app and are urging everyone to use it to help us track the spread of the deadly disease.
Its creators aim to deliver insights into why some people get the disease more severely than others.
They also hope to create a map showing where outbreaks are happening and help distinguish cases from those of the common cold.
The software requires users to share personal details, including their age, height and medical history.
It then asks them to describe symptoms, if they have any, on a daily basis, as well as to give a temperature reading.
It could potentially help the NHS:
All shared data would be anonymised and not used for any commercial purpose. And users could delete all their records when the crisis was over.
As spam and malware skyrocket on the back of the pandemic, people would be wise to be cautious about downloading other apps purporting to help tackle coronavirus.
People wishing to download the Covid-19 tracker can do so from Apple and Google’s app stores.
The government has launched an urgent appeal for 250,000 volunteers to help the NHS in the battle against coronavirus.
NHS Volunteer Responders has been set up to support the NHS during the COVID-19 outbreak. To do this we need an ‘army’ of volunteers who can support the 1.5m people in England who are at most risk from the virus to stay well. Our doctors, nurses and other professionals will be able to refer people in to NHS Volunteer Responders and be confident that they have been matched with a reliable, named volunteer.
You can help by signing up for one or more of the tasks listed below. Once you have registered and checks are complete you will be provided a log-in to the GoodSAM Responder app. Switch the app to ‘on duty’, and you’ll see live and local volunteer tasks to pick from nearby.
This programme enables volunteers to provide care or to help a vulnerable person, which is permitted under the new rules announced by the Government on 23rd March 2020. Volunteers may be asked to show the active task they are responding to if asked.
Volunteers must be 18 or over, and fit and well with no symptoms. Those in higher-risk groups (including those over 70, those who are pregnant or with underlying medical conditions) will be able to offer support by telephone.
Your safety is our priority. The majority of tasks can be undertaken while social distancing and volunteers will receive guidance through our ‘getting started pack’. If you do become ill you can pause your volunteering.
Patient transport drivers will require an enhanced DBS check and will receive guidance to do this role safely, also included within the ‘getting started pack’.
Please complete this form in order to register as a volunteer.
NEW RULES ON STAYING AT HOME AND AWAY FROM OTHERS
The single most important action we can all take, in fighting coronavirus, is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.
When we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, we will reduce the spread of the infection. That is why the government is now (23 March 2020) introducing three new measures.
Every citizen must comply with these new measures. The relevant authorities, including the police, will be given the powers to enforce them –including through fines and dispersing gatherings.
These measures are effective immediately. The Government will look again at these measures in three weeks, and relax them if the evidence shows this is possible.
1. STAYING AT HOME
You should only leave the house for one of four reasons:
These four reasons are exceptions – even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household.
If you work in a critical sector outlined in this guidance, or your child has been identified as vulnerable, you can continue to take your children to school.
2. CLOSING NON-ESSENTIAL SHOPS AND PUBLIC SPACES
Last week, the Government ordered certain businesses -including pubs, cinemas and theatres -to close.
The Government is now extending this requirement to a further set of businesses and other venues, including:
3. STOPPING PUBLIC GATHERINGS
To make sure people are staying at home and apart from each other, the Government is also stopping all public gatherings of more than two people.There are only two exceptions to this rule:
In addition, the Government is stopping social events, including weddings, baptisms and other religious ceremonies. This will exclude funerals, which can be attended by immediate family.
DELIVERING THESE NEW MEASURES
These measures will reduce our day to day contact with other people. They are a vital part of our efforts to reduce the rate of transmission of coronavirus.
Every citizen is instructed to comply with these new measures.
The Government will therefore be ensuring the police and other relevant authorities have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings where people do not comply.
They will initially last for the three weeks from 23 March, at which point the Government will look at them again and relax them if the evidence shows this is possible.
If you wish to help those who have to self-isolate and who may live alone or not have other adults to help, then you can use this self-isolating help card.
Please download, share and use!
The latest NHS/Government Health Advice is to stay at home for 7 days if you have either:
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home.
Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if: