Politicians concerned that Hampshire residents are no longer using NHS Covid-19 app

CONCERNS have been raised by senior politicians over people no longer using the NHS Covid-19 app.

Tuesday, 12th October 2021, 6:17 pm

As the winter months approach, Hampshire County Council is weighing up its options ahead of predicted rises in coronavirus and flu cases.

As of October 4, Hampshire had seen 5,214 cases in the past seven days, up by 916 cases from the previous week.

Today, the county council held a meeting of its local outbreak engagement board, to discuss the situation and how to move forward.

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County council leader, Cllr Keith Mans, believes that people are no longer using track and trace services at restaurants, bars and other hospitality venues - which could lead to a greater spike.

According to NHS data, between Fareham, Gosport, Havant and East Hampshire, there were 117,077 check-ins on the NHS Covid-19 app for the week ending July 14.

On the week ending September 29, this figure had dropped to 4,097, marking a 96 per cent drop in usage.

Cllr Mans said: 'When I went to France last year, I had to show proof of not having Covid everywhere I went. It's a system that worked really well and eventually you just get used to it.

'There's no reason to not at least ask the question.'

Enforcing proof of vaccination or immunity in hospitality cannot be done by the council, explained director of public health, Simon Bryant.

Executive lead member for adult services and public health, Cllr Liz Fairhurst, added: 'Although it's not legal now, it would be wonderful if we could do that.

'People aren't even logging themselves on the NHS Covid-19 app when they go out to restaurants - it's as if they think it has all gone away.

'We need to keep pushing the message around masks and hand washing, because not only do they protect people from Covid-19, they also help combat the flu.'

The council has warned that flu cases could be greater and more severe this year, as lockdowns prevented people from building immunity.

In the meantime the council is planning a campaign that promotes getting vaccinated, with Snapchat and Instagram initiatives to target teenagers.

In the seven-day period to October 4, there were also eight Covid-related deaths in Hampshire.

Public health director Mr Bryant said those dying are largely unvaccinated.

He said: 'The number of hospitalisations is low across all the NHS trusts in our area, and that is staying constant for now - but we need to remember that healthcare pressures aren't just due to Covid-19.

'Those who are dying are, in the main, unvaccinated.'

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