Thurrock Council has hit out at claims made by the developers of the unofficial COVID Symptom Study app that the borough should be classed as a 'coronavirus hot-spot' after just 3 people posted information to it saying they thought they had COVID-19 symptoms.
Leader of Thurrock Council, Cllr Rob Gledhill, said: "It's a shame that such scientifically unsound data from a tiny sample of self-selected app users should be used to spread fear and misinformation.
"The simple truth is that verifiable data collected by the NHS Test and Trace system shows that Thurrock's rate of confirmed coronavirus cases per 100,000 people is amongst the lowest in the country.
"Thurrock is not on the official list of 'high risk local authorities' reviewed by Public Health England and the Joint Biosecurity Centre every morning using the latest verified COVID-19 test data.
"Unfortunately what we see here is pure hyperbole generated on a tiny number of self-reported cases using an unofficial app.
"These claims are not based on scientifically sound data or verified test results. The makers of the app appear to have made their claims after 0.2% of 1,493 users in Thurrock reported their own symptoms on the app. That amounts to just three people."
For the latest data published by Public Health England, go to GOV.UK: Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK.