The UK government detailed plans to develop an app in collaboration with global tech companies to track contact with people infected with Covid-19 (coronavirus), BBC News reported.

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock revealed the move in a daily press briefing on the cabinet’s response to the pandemic on 12 April, the news service reported. The move had previously been rumoured by several press outlets, but was only made official during the speech.

Hancock stated the initiative was led by the NHS’s digital transformation unit NHSX in close collaboration with the world’s leading tech companies.

BBC News reported the app will alert users if they have recently been in the proximity of an individual with suspected Covid-19 infection for an extended amount of time. The media outlet noted NHSX planned a test of the software during the week prior to its official release.

The Sunday Times reported NHSX was working with Google and Apple to develop a system using Bluetooth technology to enable people who have tested positive for infection to trace contact with people infected with the virus.

Options for developing technology to track the spread of Covid-19 are being mulled by a number of organisations and countries, including the European Commission and the Pan-European Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing initiative.