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Test and trace has barely improved since it began

The Guardian reports that the government’s £22bn test-and-trace system has failed to reach more than 100,000 people exposed to coronavirus in England’s worst-hit areas since the second wave began with four in 10 not asked to self-isolate.

A Guardian analysis found that the arm of the test-and-trace programme run primarily by Serco and Sitel reached just 58% of the close contacts of infected people in the country’s 20 worst-hit areas since 9 September. It has barely improved since its launch, when it was 55%.

Boris Johnson defended the value of the struggling system in a Downing Street briefing on Monday after it received a further £7bn in funding, taking its cost to £22bn this year. This amounts to nearly a fifth of the NHS budget and about the same as the Department for Transport’s.

Full story in The Guardian, 25 November 2020

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