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Matt Hancock has revealed virtually 8,000 folks with coronavirus have nonetheless not had their contacts traced after a large pc glitch missed off a swathe of optimistic assessments.
The well being secretary was accused of presiding over a “shambles” that was “placing lives in danger” after telling MPs the issue was to do with a “legacy Public Well being England system”.
He was delivering an announcement within the Commons after it was revealed 15,841 Covid-19 instances have been missed off the printed totals.
However this additionally meant their instances had not been handed on to NHS Take a look at and Hint, permitting those that had come into contact with the contaminated to stay unaware, and probably persevering with to unfold the illness.
Mr Hancock mentioned as of this morning solely half of these lacking instances had been contacted a second time, which means the contacts of round 7,760 folks have been but to be reached.
“Contact tracing of those instances started very first thing Saturday,” he mentioned.
“We introduced in 6,500 hours of additional contact tracing over the weekend and I can report back to the Home as of 9am right this moment 51% of the instances have now been contacted a second time for contract tracing functions.
“I need to reassure the Home that outbreak management in care houses, colleges and hospitals has not been instantly affected as a result of coping with outbreaks in these settings doesn’t primarily depend on this PHE system.”
The Cupboard minister added: “This incident ought to by no means have occurred however the workforce has acted swiftly to minimise its affect, and now it’s crucial that we work collectively to place this proper and ensure it by no means occurs once more.”
And he mentioned regardless of the big further variety of instances now added to the general complete, he mentioned the federal government’s evaluation of the pandemic has “not considerably modified”.
Mr Hancock defined: “This morning the Joint Biosecurity Centre introduced to me their up to date evaluation of the epidemic based mostly on the brand new figures.
“The chief medical officer (Chris Whitty) has analysed that our evaluation of the illness and its affect has not considerably modified on account of these information.
“The JBC has confirmed that this has not impacted the premise on which choices about native motion have been taken final week. Nonetheless, this can be a severe problem that’s being investigated totally.”
He mentioned the issue was within the reporting and never the testing itself, saying “each single individual that examined optimistic was informed that outcome within the regular manner within the regular timeframe” and notified of the necessity to self-isolate.
However Labour’s shadow well being secretary Jonathan Ashworth mentioned regardless of Boris Johnson’s declare the UK would have “a world-beating system”, months in it “is neither competent nor enhancing.”
He mentioned the federal government “is failing on the fundamentals” and known as on Mr Hancock to apologise.
“In latest weeks we have had folks informed to journey tons of of miles for a take a look at, we have had tons of of youngsters out of faculty unable to get a take a look at” Mr Ashworth added.
“We have had tracers sitting idle watching Netflix. We have had care residence assessments taking days to be processed.
“Yesterday we had a well being minister saying this might be a second of nationwide pleasure just like the Olympics.
“We have had a Prime Minister in an entire muddle over the principles and now, at one of the crucial essential factors on this pandemic, we study that nearly 16,000 optimistic instances when unreported for per week.
“Which means as many as 48,000 contacts not traced and never isolating. 1000’s of individuals blissfully unaware they have been uncovered to Covid probably spreading this lethal virus at a time when hospital admissions are rising and we’re within the second wave.
“This is not only a shambles, it is a lot worse than this and it provides me no consolation to say it, but it surely’s placing lives in danger and he ought to apologise when he responds.”