Coronavirus: Weekly COVID-19 cases in England down

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The number of weekly COVID-19 cases in England fell for the first time since July – but the government missed its testing and tracing target for the ninth week in a row.

The goal of reaching and isolating 80% of people in contact with coronavirus was established by the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) – but only around 75.5% of close contacts in England were reached in the week of August 19.

But the government figures Test et trace NHS Operation revealed a total of 6,115 people who tested positive in the week of August 13-19 – 8% less than the week before and the first drop since early July.

Although it did not meet the target, the number of people contacted through the test and traceability system increased further during the week through August 19 to 7,941, in part due to an operational delay the previous week.

Of these, 72.6% were reached and asked to provide information about their contacts, up from 79% the week before, the government said.

A total of 75.5% of people who were in close contact with those initially contacted were reached.

Since the launch of the NHS contact tracing system in late May, 65,398 people who tested positive for COVID-19 in England have had their cases transferred.

Of these cases, 50,876 people (77.8%) were contacted and asked to provide details of recent contacts, while 12,851 people (19.7%) were not reached.

Another 1,671 people (2.6%) could not be reached because their contact details were not provided.

Of the 50,876 people affected, 246,262 of their close contacts were subsequently contacted successfully and asked to self-isolate.

That’s 80.6% out of a total of 305,752 people identified as close contacts.

The remaining 59,463 people (19.4%) could not be contacted.

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Bradford, West Yorkshire, had the lowest proportion of people successfully contacted by test and trace, with a success rate of just 43% for contacts handled online or through call centers since the start of the ‘surgery.

The second lowest was Middlesbrough and Peterborough at 47%, Blackburn with Darwen and the City of London & Hackney was at 48%, while Nottingham and Oldham were both at 49%.

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