UK national Test and Trace fails to contact thousands of people in most-infected areas of England
By mid-July, the UK’s contact tracing system was still failing to contact thousands of people in areas with England’s highest infection rates. In London, with the sixth-highest infection rate in England, only 47% of at-risk people were contacted; in partially locked-down Leicester, the rate was 65%. The govt’s SAGE committee has said that 80% of infected people’s contacts just be contacted and told to self-isolate within 48 to 72 hours for the programme to be effective. Local councils are beginning to plan local extensions to the system that can follow up with door-to-door visits and leverage existing expertise, describing the centralised system as “too remote” and unable to overcome problems such as language barriers and distrust of unknown callers.
Writer: Josh Halliday
Publication date: 2020-07-22