Failure Of Test And Trace System Prompts Fears As Infections Increase

The failure of the test and trace system to meet the 24-hour turnaround target has prompted criticism amid the rising infections.

UK test and trace 'barely functional' as 11 million face lockdown
NHS staff contacting tests/ Picture credit: The Guardian

The failure of the test and trace system to meet the 24-hour turnaround target has prompted criticism amid the rising infections.

About 90 per cent of tests have been failing to meet the target and the tsar acknowledged that demand had increased to four times capacity. Tracers would take up to 14 days, the self-isolation period to contact those who had social contact with people diagnosed with coronavirus.

There has been widespread criticism of the failure of the government`s test and trace system, with lengthening queues at testing centres amid rising infections. On Thursday, Dido Harding, head of the £10bn NHS test-and-trace programme designed to prevent a second wave of Covid-19, told MPs “I strongly refute that the system is failing.”

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According to official figures, there has been a 75 per cent increase in weekly infections across England.

Harding also said: “We made a conscious decision because of the large increase in demand to extend the turnaround time in order to process the number of tests in the last couple of weeks.”

Some people who turned up for tests did not have any coronavirus symptom as stipulated, mounting unnecessary pressure on the government`s testing system. Based on data from surveys outside the testing centre, 27 per cent of people who came out for tests did not have at least one Covid-19 symptom.

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This proves that fears amid rising infections has contributed to the increase in testing shortages and failure of the testing system. Greg Clark. “I completely understand why people are worried and scared.”

There is a need for an urgent improvement in testing as contact tracing is “slow or inadequate” in most cases.

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