Coronavirus: Britain hires nearly 18,000 contact trackers

LONDON: Britain has hired most of the 18,000 contact trackers it needs for a test-and-track program it plans to implement next month when the blocking restrictions are further eased.

Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove told the BBC on Sunday that 17,200 people had been recruited, allowing the government to meet its hiring target next week.

Contact trackers will track anyone who has been in close contact with those who tested positive for COVID-19. They are part of the program that authorities plan to launch in June, when some students are allowed to return to school and stores may begin to reopen in phases. Authorities have also been testing a smartphone tracking app to help with the effort.

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> Tracers are a mix of people who have clinical training and those who can provide a call center service, Gove said. Britain has the highest number of deaths in Europe and the number of confirmed virus cases.