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UK says dealing with technical issues of track and trace app – minister

FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a face mask walks past a travel worker wearing a face mask at London Victoria station in London, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), London, Britain, May 18, 2020. REUTERS/Toby MelvilleLONDON (Reuters) – Britain is dealing with technical issues of its track and trace app that it hopes…

FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a face mask walks past a travel worker wearing a face mask at London Victoria station in London, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), London, Britain, May 18, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain is dealing with technical issues of its track and trace app that it hopes will help it keep the novel coronavirus outbreak under control, but will use traditional tracking means until it is rolled out, the security minister said on Wednesday.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday a “world-beating” programme to test and trace those suspected of having been in contact with people who have tested positive for COVID-19 would be in place by June 1.

The test and track programme is seen as a key measure to reopen the country, but has also been dogged by criticism after opposition lawmakers said an earlier promise of a nationwide roll-out of a National Health Service (NHS)-developed smartphone app had slipped from the middle of this month.

“The track and trace system is going to be ready,” James Brokenshire, the junior interior minister in charge of security, told Sky News.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton; editing by Michael Holden

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