Test and Trace has failed to reach “over half of contacts”


The Test and Trace system has failed to reach over half of contacts in Hackney and the City of London, since its introduction in May, new Government figures have revealed.

This is in contrast to other boroughs such as Merton, where 73% of close contacts to those who have tested positive were alerted by NHS tracers.

Local London Assembly Member, Jennette Arnold OBE AM, has now written to Public Health England (PHE) to urge them to address the disparity in contact tracing performance across the capital.

In a letter to London’s regional director of PHE, Professor Kevin Fenton, Ms Arnold has highlighted the need for the Track and Trace system to be properly resourced and co-ordinated on a Londonwide basis, alongside calling for the health body to take a more “sensitive” approach to local requirements.

Ms Arnold has also requested that PHE now publishes borough-by-borough track and trace performance figures which enables weekly comparisons to be more easily made.

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Last week, the trial of a new contact tracing app was rolled out across neighbouring borough, Newham.

Local London Assembly Member, Jennette Arnold OBE AM, said: Hackney has one of the lowest contact tracing rates in the country and urgent efforts need to be made to address this imbalance with other boroughs.

“This is why I have written to PHE, calling upon them to take immediate measures to put the borough on a much stronger footing when it comes to containing a potential second wave.

“Test and Trace is a vital weapon in our arsenal when it comes to fighting this pandemic, but it still has many fundamental issues that have been left unresolved.

“Any further inertia on the part of the Government or PHE will put local people at risk, we must now see swift and decisive action on this.”

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