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PM admits failings as England’s Covid contact-tracing system hits new low

Boris Johnson and his chief scientific adviser have admitted to failings in England’s £12bn test-and-trace system as contact-tracing fell to a new low and waiting times for test results soared to almost double the target.

New figures show that less than 60% of close contacts are being reached, while test turnaround times rose to nearly 48 hours. Johnson said: “I share people’s frustrations and I understand totally why we do need to see faster turnaround times and we need to improve it.”

Alongside him at a Downing Street press conference, Sir Patrick Vallance said problems with test and trace were in part inevitable as coronavirus cases rose in the second wave – but also a result of the system’s operation. They were “diminishing its effectiveness”, he said.

Full story in The Guardian, 22 October 2020

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