Eddie Mair 4pm - 7pm
NHS Test and Trace fails to contact thousands of potential Covid-19 carriers
6 August 2020, 11:26
Thousands of potential Covid-19 carriers have not gone into self-isolation after Test and Trace failed to contact them, new figures have revealed.
Over the past nine weeks since Test and Trace launched,199,524 close contacts of people who tested positive for coronavirus have been contacted and told to self-isolate.
This is 82.2 per cent out of a total of 242,749 people identified as close contacts.
But in total 43,225 contacts have not been reached, 5,284 in the past week alone.
This means only 72.4 per cent of contacts were traced in the past week, making it the lowest rate since the "world beating" system was launched at the end of May.
The Test and Trace figures also show that, for cases handled by local health protection teams, 98.0 per cent of close contacts of people who tested positive for Covid-19 have been reached and asked to self-isolate.
By contrast, for those cases handled either online or by call centres, 56.1 per cent of close contacts have been reached and asked to self-isolate.
Today's government report admitted: "The overall percentage of contacts reached has been declining since Test and Trace began."
The government has faced significant criticism for the Test and Trace programme, which has has been blighted with a number of problems.
Some councils are making their own contact tracing systems to keep up with demand.
Calderdale Council, which covers Halifax and surrounding areas, is the second authority to make the move after Blackburn and Darwen said it was setting up a locally-focused system to utilise community knowledge.