First Minister Mark Drakeford makes urgent appeal

May 18, 2020

First Minister Mark Drakeford and NHS Wales are appealing to the Welsh public to download the COVID Symptom Tracker app to help the NHS response to COVID-19 in Wales.

People across Wales are being asked to log how they feel to help build a clearer picture of how the virus is affecting people across the nation. Data from the COVID-19 Symptom Tracker app will be shared daily with the Welsh Government and NHS Wales. It will give early indications of where future hospital admissions are going to be.

Scientists from Kings College London and the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) Databank at Swansea University will work with the Welsh Government to analyse the data to inform modelling and understand and predict the developing situation of the disease in Wales.

First Minister, Mark Drakeford said:

“Having a range of evidence and data is crucial in helping us build a clear picture of how the virus is behaving and affecting everyone’s lives. Crucially this app can help us anticipate potential COVID hot spots and get our NHS services ready. I’m asking everyone in Wales to download the new COVID Symptom Tracker app, so you can help protect our workers and save lives. Together we can build the best scientific picture so we are better armed to fight this terrible disease.”
The research team at King’s College London and ZOE are analysing the data to generate new insights about the disease. An interactive map allowing anyone to see the distribution of COVID in their area is available at covid.joinzoe.com as well as frequent science updates.

Lead researcher Professor Tim Spector from King’s College London, says:

Accurate real-time data is essential if we are to beat this disease. Without accurate and wide spread testing it’s essential that we have much data as possible to help us predict where we are going to see the next spikes in demand so that resources can be effectively deployed ahead of time to meet the needs of the patients. The support of the Welsh Government and NHS Wales is an incredibly positive step in the right direction and we hope to see other NHS groups coming on board in the coming days.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank every single person who is already participating, and would urge everyone else to download the app and check in every day, whether you are experiencing any symptoms or feeling fine.”

For all press enquiries please contact Dominique Lyons, Welsh Government Dominique.Lyons@gov.wales. The app can be downloaded here.

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