Mayor of London visits East Ham test centre to encourage people to download Test and Trace app
- Credit: Mayor of London's Office
Sadiq Khan has visited an East Ham walk-in coronavirus test centre in a bid to encourage people to sign up to the NHS Test and Trace phone app.
Newham is one of two areas piloting the new app, which aims to use technology to improve contact tracing.
It is expected to be particularly useful in identifying strangers who a person with coronavirus may have been in close proximity with, for example when using public transport or visiting a shop.
The Mayor of London’s visit on Thursday, September 3 saw him speak to the Mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz, about the work the council is doing to ensure as many people are involved in the pilot scheme as possible.
More than 300,000 people living in the borough have been encouraged to download it to compatible smartphones since last month’s launch, with the council using a network of volunteers to reach different communities.
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Mr Khan said: “I am pleased to be in Newham to see first-hand how the council is supporting the community in the fight against Covid-19.
“Newham residents have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic due the health inequalities they face, but thanks to their monumental efforts they have slowed the spread of the virus.
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“As more of our city opens up, it’s vital that we all continue to follow the public health guidance to prevent a second wave, and I urge Newham residents to download the app and all Londoners to continue doing what they can to protect each other.”
The two mayors took a tour of the test centre in Hilda Road, where those with symptoms can get a swab test to find out if they have the virus.
Anyone with suspected coronavirus, as well as those they live with, must self-isolate until their test results come back. If the result is positive, the isolation period must continue.
People who have been close to the person with the virus will then be contacted - something the app is designed to improve the efficiency of.
Ms Fiaz said: “If we show the app works here, then it will work anywhere, and that’s important for the safety of all Londoners as well as the capital’s economy.
“The more people that sign up and the more businesses that display their QR check-in posters, the more effective the app becomes in stopping the spread of this life-threatening virus and the quicker we get back to doing the things we love.”