Self-isolation from contacts of people infected with coronavirus could be reduced to one week

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Contacts of people infected with Covid-19 may have to self-isolate for as little as seven days due to concerns about levels of public compliance with England’s testing and tracing system.It would appear that government officials on the Covid-19 task force are examining the case for reducing the current isolation period from fifteen days to seven to ten days.

The rule change would not apply to those who test positive for the disease.

This decision comes against a backdrop of growing discontent on the part of ministers and MPs with the performance of the system.

According to the Sunday Telegraph, Boris Johnson was “disappointed” by the statistics provided by the service after they were proven to be false.

At the same time, there were concerns that the prospect of a long time indoors if contacted by Test and Trace would deter people from cooperating.

The Telegraph quoted a # 10 source who said, “Compliance is not as high as we would like and self-isolation is key if we are to beat the virus. ”

It comes after Test and Trace – led by conservative peer Baroness Harding – hit an all-time low last week with just 59.6% of contacts of people who tested positive for the disease were successfully contacted and invited to follow up. isolate.

A further sign of unrest in Westminster, the main Conservative MP, Sir Bernard Jenkin, launched a scathing attack on the performance of the system, saying that public consent and cooperation was “crumbling”.

In the Sunday Telegraph, he said there was a “leadership vacuum” at the top of the organization and called for “visible and decisive” change with a senior military figure in charge.

“There is a command and control spaghetti at the top, which is incapable of coherent analysis, assessment, planning and delivery,” he wrote.

“The immediate priority is to fill the leadership void in Test and Trace, which destroys cooperation and compliance.

“The government has mobilized the army to regain control of the foot-and-mouth disease crisis; the prime minister should follow suit today, installing a single leader, a three or four star military commander known to handle complexity under stress.

“Testing and tracing should then be tasked with generating and sustaining a campaign for behavior change through consent.”

Sir Bernard, who chairs the Senior Members ‘Liaison Committee which interviews the PM twice a year, added that Lady Harding should be given a’ well-deserved break ‘so that she and others can’ reflect on the lessons learned so far ”.

In response, the Department of Health and Welfare acknowledged that there were areas where service needed improvement, but said people should “speak up, not down”.

“Dido Harding and his management team – drawn from the military, public and private sectors – have built the largest diagnostics industry the UK has ever seen,” a spokesperson said.

“It’s the equivalent of building an operation the size of Tesco in a few months. The NHS Test and Trace system has built a testing capacity of 400,000 tests per day, starting from a starting point of 2,000 per day in March.

“This capacity is greater per capita than France, Germany, Italy and Spain and we have contacted over 1.1 million people and asked them to self-isolate.

“There are some areas that we need to improve and we are very focused on that, but we should be speaking up and not down.”

Meanwhile, talks are expected to continue this week between the government and local Nottinghamshire leaders, with parts of the county set to enter the tightest Level 3 restrictions on Wednesday.

Warrington, Cheshire council has already confirmed it will move to the very high alert level on Thursday.

It follows South Yorkshire which joined Liverpool City area, Greater Manchester and Lancashire at rank 3 on Saturday.

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