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No. 10 admits that test and trace need improvement as the beleaguered system gets one more performance ever


Number 10 has admitted that Britain's beleaguered Test and Trace "needs improvement" after it was found that more than 100,000 potential coronavirus patients were missing from the program last week.

The damn statistics released by the government today showed that the system detected only 59 percent of the close contacts of people who tested positive for the virus in the week ending October 14.

The British epidemic is on the verge of spiraling out of control again. On Wednesday, 26,688 people tested positive for Covid-19.

And with no vaccine or cure, a robust contact tracing program is one of the few lines of defense in the country for keeping case rates manageable without a second national lockdown.

At this critical stage, the NHS test and trace system, which is advised that it is operated by the health service but is actually controlled by the government, gets worse rather than better.

Health ministry figures show that in the week leading up to October 14, 101,690 potentially infected virus patients were not contacted, meaning they may have unwittingly passed the disease on to countless others.

The 59 percent of close contacts achieved are the lowest weekly percentage since the program started in May and are less than 63 percent from the previous week.

The government's scientific experts have warned that the entire system can only function effectively if at least 80 percent of the close contacts are actually tracked and quarantined for 14 days.

Meanwhile, only 15 percent of people who were tested for Covid-19 at a regional location, a local location or a mobile testing unit in England during the same period received their result within 24 hours.

This is the lowest weekly percentage since the system was introduced – and down by a third since the week before – which increases the risk of the virus spreading before patients develop symptoms.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman admitted today that "testing times need to be improved and we are working hard to fix this".

Boris Johnson had previously promised that all personal tests will be done by the end of June. Scientists have repeatedly warned that people waiting for a result are far more likely to take risks if they don't receive confirmation that they are infected within 24 hours.

The damn statistics released by the government today showed that in the week leading up to October 14, the system detected only 59 percent of the close contacts of people who tested positive for the virus. This is the lowest weekly percentage since the program was launched in May of 63 percent from the previous week

The Prime Minister's official spokesman told MailOnline, “The first thing to say is that the test and tracking processed 1,729,565 tests in the week ended October 14th. This was an increase from the previous week and over 80 percent of people who tested positive and positive were transferred to the contact tracking system, reached and asked to provide information about their contacts, and that was an increase from the previous week.

“We are processing tests on an unprecedented scale to confirm your point of view, and we currently run over 300,000 tests per day on a regular basis. However, we understand that test turnaround times need to improve and we are working hard to fix this.

"NHS Test and Trace increases staffing levels, increases the use of robotics, and increases testing capacity so that tests can be performed and lead times improved."

Covid-19 infection rates in the five hardest-hit student areas in England have halved in a week

Coronavirus infection rates in England's hardest-hit student areas fell by half in the first two weeks of October in hopes that young people were shocked into abiding by social distancing rules.

Covid-19 cases in teenagers and people in their twenties have been accused of fueling England's second wave of illnesses after numerous positive tests were found in September after returning from universities and schools.

Official statistics show that the infection rates in districts with large student populations were up to seven times higher than in the cities they live in. However, data shows that cases have decreased in the five hardest hit areas, although none of them have yet hit the strictest Tier 3 lockdown rules.

In the University Park area of ​​Nottingham, which had the most positive cases in England in the week ending October 4, the infection rate fell by a third (32 percent) the following week, ending October 11. However, an astonishing four percent of the region's 11,000 residents still tested positive that week.

In Fallowfield, Manchester, the infection rate fell at the same time by a massive 71 percent from four percent of the population who tested positive to one percent.

There were also declines at Endcliffe & Ranmoor in Sheffield (47 percent), Hyde Park Corner in Leeds (39 percent) and Shieldfield & Heaton Park in Newcastle (61 percent). The percentage decline in the areas averaged 50 percent per week.

While Manchester and Sheffield will face the toughest social distancing rules – Tier Three – starting this weekend, none of the above areas have been subject to a full local lockdown, but cases seem to be on the decline regardless. Everyone but Leeds is in Tier Two, which prohibits socializing indoors.

Ministers are becoming increasingly optimistic that worrying data about rising infections, hospital admissions, deaths and infections in the vulnerable over 60s has led young people to take social distancing more seriously.

They added, “You can see that we are testing and tracking additional resources. For example, we are allocating certain amounts of money to areas that are on very high alert to ensure that additional resources are available on-site to help track down contacts.

"We have always said that testing and traceability will be needed to keep improving and we are working to make that happen."

The figures show that for all tests combined, only 7.4 percent of the results were received within 24 hours, which is the lowest reading ever. In comparison, 14.8 percent of the tests in the previous week were done in one day.

The worrying statistics show that the weekly positivity rate – the number of swabs that produce a positive result – has increased dramatically since late August, rising from 0.9 percent in late August to 7.1 percent last week.

According to the criteria published by the World Health Organization, a positivity rate of less than 5% is an indicator that the epidemic is under control in a country – which suggests that the UK is losing control of its crisis.

Contact tracers hit 251,613 contacts from coronavirus cases in the week ended October 14, up 15 percent from 218,489 in the last seven-day period and more than double the 105,464 two weeks ago.

In cases handled by local health protection teams, 94.8 percent of the contacts were reached in the week ending October 14 and asked to self-isolate. In cases processed either online or by call centers, the figure was 57.6 percent.

Experts and local health officials have long called for the number 10 to take a more local approach to Test and Trace and invest money in having local tracers knocking on suspected case doors, as has been done in other countries with great success.

In the most recent recording period, 96,521 people who tested positive for the virus were referred to the contact tracing scheme – up 12 percent from the week before.

The increase over the previous week was significantly lower than in the previous week, when it more than doubled from 34,494 to 86,208. While infections are clearly still trending in the wrong direction, it suggests that the UK outbreak is slowing.

Of the 96,521, only 80 percent (77,892) were ever reached, which means that a fifth of those infected did not disclose their close contacts. There is further concern about the number of potentially infected people who can freely roam the streets.

The proportion of people reached has decreased since the beginning of September, but has increased slightly in the last week (1 percent). Since the start of Test and Trace, only 79.5 percent of all cases have been reached.

The analysis found that Covid-19 infection rates in the hardest-hit student areas of England fell by half in the first two weeks of October. It has raised hopes that young people have been shocked into following social distancing rules.

Covid-19 cases in teenagers and people in their twenties have been accused of fueling England's second wave of illnesses after numerous positive tests were found in September after returning from universities and schools.

Official statistics show that infection rates in districts with large student populations were up to seven times higher than in the cities they live in. However, data shows that cases have decreased in the five hardest hit areas, although none of them have yet hit the strictest Tier 3 lockdown rules.

In the University Park area of ​​Nottingham, which had the most positive cases in England in the week ending October 4, the infection rate fell by a third (32 percent) the following week, ending October 11. However, an astonishing four percent of the region's 11,000 residents still tested positive that week.

In Fallowfield, Manchester, the infection rate fell at the same time by a massive 71 percent from four percent of the population who tested positive to one percent.

Data from Public Health England shows that coronavirus infection rates in the five hardest-hit areas of England have fallen by an average of 50 percent since then in the week ending October 4, with positive tests decreasing, although none of the areas have full local lockdowns were seized

Data from Public Health England shows that coronavirus infection rates in the five hardest hit areas of England have fallen an average of 50 percent since then in the week leading up to October 4, with positive tests decreasing, although none of the areas have full local lockdowns were seized

There were also declines at Endcliffe & Ranmoor in Sheffield (47 percent), Hyde Park Corner in Leeds (39 percent) and Shieldfield & Heaton Park in Newcastle (61 percent). The percentage decline in the areas averaged 50 percent per week.

While Manchester and Sheffield will face the strictest social distancing rules – tier three – starting this weekend, none of the above areas have been completely locally locked, but cases seem to be on the decline regardless. All but Leeds are in Tier Two, which prohibits indoor socialization.

Ministers are becoming increasingly optimistic that worrying data about rising infections, hospital admissions, deaths and infections in the vulnerable over 60s has led young people to take social distancing more seriously.

Graphs featured in a TV briefing this week by Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, England's Deputy Chief Medical Officer, showed that infection rates under 30-year-olds have changed and are now falling. However, he warned that the rapid increases in these groups in September have now "penetrated" the older groups, who are more likely to die if they contract the virus.

And Matt Hancock said at a weekly meeting of the Joint Biosecurity Center yesterday on "Gold Command" that after weeks of continuous increases, cases are now occurring among young people.

Mr Johnson has opposed repeated calls from leading scientific advisors for a national breaker lockdown and maintains his three-tier local lockout system that has so far placed the toughest restrictions on around seven million people in the north of England, notably Liverpool, M.

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