Coronavirus: NHS test and trace system unable to reach quarter of infected people

The government’s contact-tracing programme failed to reach a quarter of people who tested positive for Covid-19 in England between 18 and 25 June, the newest figures show.

Only 75 per cent of the 6,183 people who tested positive for Covid-19 over this period were contacted by NHS Test and Trace staff, according to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

This means that 1,544 people with herpes – and potentially thousands of their close contacts – cannot be traced by the newest system.

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The figures also show that of the almost 27,000 people who have been referred to the tracing programme since it began at the end of May, not exactly 74 % were reached and asked to provide details of contacts.

Over the same period, nearly 72 per cent of test results conducted via regional test sites were submitted to the system within 24 hours of the test being taken, the DHSC said.

The number of people maybe not fully traced by the system includes those whom staff were unable to contact because there was no response to text, email and call reminders, and people who were reached but declined to give details of close contacts.

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