Struggling test and tracing system will be scaled back as local authorities gain more control

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He found that if testing and tracing was more effective, so that 68% of contacts of positive cases were traced, then the spread could be brought under control.Since then, test and trace performance has deteriorated further to just 46% of contacts in the week ending July 29.

The Department of Health and Social Affairs said the new approach was a “partnership” with Public Health England and local authorities.

Baroness Harding said: ‘NHS Test and Trace is one of the largest contact tracing and testing systems in the world and was built quickly, building on the existing health protection networks in the UK. United, to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

“At the height of the pandemic, we made sure the system had additional capacity to deal with potential spikes in the virus.

“We have always been clear that NHS Test and Trace should be local by default and that we are not doing it alone – we are working with and through partners across the country.

“As we learn more about the spread of the disease, we are able to take the next planned step and become even more effective at controlling the virus.

Shadow Minister of Health Justin Madders said: “Labor has been calling for months for a locally-run contact tracing system – it is welcome that local authorities are finally getting additional support to tackle the virus in their communities. regions.

“But it is clear that Boris Johnson’s £ 10 billion centralized contact tracing system is nowhere near beating the world, as he claims, and the system is unable to successfully fight against local epidemics. ”

Keith Neal, Emeritus Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at the University of Nottingham, said: “The biggest problem is that 20-25% of cases could not be contacted. Allowing local authorities to continue their action will allow them to contact more.

“Visiting the homes will help, but there is no mention of what they will do if they don’t self-isolate for 10 days as they should be. ”

As part of the testing and traceability program, call managers aim to make contact with all infected people and all contacts they have passed on in order to advise them to self-isolate. If they cannot do so after 10 calls, they are advised to move on to the next case.

In total, fewer than four in five people who test positive are affected by contact tracers, of which less than four in five transmit contacts. And among them, less than three-quarters of contacts are reached, which equates to overall coverage of 46%.

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