Good Morning Britain’ s health expert Dr Hilary has discussed the pros and cons of the NHS Covid-19 app during a discussion with Kate Garraway and Richard Madeley.
On Thursday’s show the panel were debating the “pingdemic” following mixed messages over the NHS app as thousands are forced to self isolate.
Kate asked the Dr Hilary if it was common sense to delete the app and instead adopt taking lateral flow tests, but the health expert warned that while lateral flow tests are “better than nothing”, they “tend to produce a lot of false negatives”.
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Dr Hilary said: “Lateral flow tests are better than nothing. The problem with them is that they tend to produce a lot of false negatives.
“When someone is leading up to an infection, they’re often still negative until the point where the viral load is sufficient that you’ve got symptoms. Now, by the time you’ve got symptoms the lateral flow test will be positive but you’ve already passed the virus on, if you’re not self-isolating, to other people.
“Sorry to interrupt you Hilary,” Kate interjected. “But that is still a problem with the pinging of the app though, isn’t it?
“Because you only get pinged when someone else has tested positive and usually that test is from PCR, which takes longer anyway, so there’s still that lack with app, it doesn’t really help.”
Dr Hilary issues NHS Covid app warning as GMB discuss ‘pingdemic’
Dr Hilary said: “According to the data that I have seen, about one in three people who are pinged will go on to develop coronavirus symptoms.
“Wow,” said Kate.
“So it is isolating people who would otherwise go on to transmit the infection,” the health editor explained.
“But Hilary that doesn’t feel like it, it doesn’t feel like it,” Kate stressed.
The doctor continued: “The cases are rising, rising numbers of hospitalisations again, 750 a day and each one of those is obviously severely unwell.”
“It doesn’t feel that way though Hilary, it doesn’t feel that way. We talked about half a million last week self-isolating, does that mean that a third of half a million then went on to test positive? It doesn’t, does it? So there is something amiss in that gap.”
“No, it doesn’t”, Dr Hilary said. “There is a discrepancy.
“What I think about the supply chain, is this, you’ve got essential workers there who did so brilliantly during full lockdown when effectively everybody was self isolating.
“What is problem? They managed really well – they were essential workers in retail, HGV drivers. They are not the same risk, if they’re not self isolating, as a child in a whole classroom or somebody in an office.”
Good Morning Britain continues weekdays at 6am on ITV.