Test and trace not reaching enough people means we risk a second peak

Responding to the latest NHS Test and Trace statistics, Dr Layla McCay, a director at the NHS Confederation, said: “I’m glad to see improvements in the proportion of people with coronavirus whose close contacts were reached and asked to self-isolate, but we cannot ignore the fact that the benchmark for effectiveness, as recommended by the Government’s independent scientific advisers, is still not being met.

“Also, we are hearing that people in the hardest hit areas are not being reached. This is too important not to get right. Without a test and trace system that is consistently robust across the whole country and effective at reaching people where the disease is particularly prevalent in a timely manner, we risk a second peak that could seriously endanger public health and put the NHS in the path of a wave of infections that could overwhelm it.”

Key figures

  • 3,887 people had their case transferred to the contact tracing system from which 3,098 people (79.7 per cent) were reached and asked to provide details of close contacts.
  • Most people reached by NHS test and trace provided details for one or more contacts and this has increased from 77.5 per cent to 79.9 per cent since last week.
  • 16,742 people were identified as coming into close contact with someone who has tested positive and been transferred to contact tracing. Of these, 13,034 people (77.9 per cent) were reached and asked to self-isolate, an increase from 72.0% the previous week.
  • Of those contacts reached, 83.6 per cent were reached within 24 hours after being identified as a close contact. 55.9 per cent were contacted and asked to self isolate within 24 hours of the positive individual that reports them being transferred to contact tracing.

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