Covid report co-author: Test and trace system 'real failure' of pandemic

12 October 2021, 22:51 | Updated: 12 October 2021, 22:57

Greg Clark MP has told LBC that the UK's Test and Trace system was a 'real failure'
Greg Clark MP has told LBC that the UK's Test and Trace system was a 'real failure'. Picture: Alamy

By Seán Hickey

The UK would still be in the depths of the Covid-19 pandemic if we relied on NHS Test and Trace, one of the co-authors of the 'damning' Covid report suggests.

Greg Clark is the chair of Parliament's Science and Technology Committee - which has put the Covid report together alongside the Health Committee.

He spoke to Tom Swarbrick following deep criticism of the government's response to the pandemic upon the release of the report.

Read more: 'Why not say sorry?': Minister refuses to apologise for Covid failures eight times

"£37 billion on test and trace, is that money well spent?" Tom asked. Mr Clark's swift answer was "no".

He pointed out that it was "an extraordinary sum of money" to spend on a system that didn't work efficiently.

"That is a thousand pounds for every household in the country."

Read more: Mother 'haunted' by son's Covid death fumes at report findings

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"When you consider the uses of taxpayer money...the performance of NHS test and trace coupled with the money that has gone into it...that is a real failure" Mr Clark added.

When Tom asked what specifically was the issue with Test and Trace, the Tory MP said "it was handicapped from the outset by not being set up early enough."

"Right throughout the pandemic, Test and Trace has failed us and we say in the report had it not been for the vaccine it's quite likely that this summer...we wouldn't have had that summer."

"The reliability of our test and trace system is not something you'd want to put much faith in."

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