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Ministers shelve plans to tweak Covid app as cases in England surge

Critics including health advisers and Tory backbenchers say government has lost control of the ‘pingdemic’

Ministers have shelved proposals to urgently overhaul the Covid contact tracing app in England as cases surge, prompting claims they have lost control of the so-called “pingdemic” days before restrictions are dropped.

As the number of people “pinged” and told to isolate rose 46% in a week to more than 520,000, the knock-on effects ballooned and prompted concerns that growing numbers will delete or ignore the app.

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