Still Less Than 80% Of Those COVID-Positive Are Being Contacted By Test And Trace And Official Number Of Deaths Is Altered

By Rachael Grealish

The latest statistics are in for what the Prime Minister called a ‘world beating test and trace system’ and they still show less than 80 percent of COVID-positive people are being contacted to provide details.

5,212 new people tested1 positive for Coronavirus (COIVD-19) in England in between July 30 and August 5.

This is an increase of four percent in number of positive cases compared to the previous week – the number of people tested has increased by 12 percent in the same time period.

Of those who tested positive only 4,973 were transferred to the Test and Trace system – of which 79.7 percent were contacted to provide contact details of recent close contacts.

20,638 people were identified as coming into close contact with someone who has tested positive and less than 75 percent of those were reached and asked to self isolate.

These latest figures come after the announcement the number of national contact tracers will be reduced from 18,000 to 12,000 on August 24.

The NHS Test and Trace system has come under much scrutiny due the numbers of those being contacted – especially after during his penultimate PMQs the Prime Minister said the system was working at an ‘unprecedented scale’.

He added: “Our test-and-trace system is as good as or better than anywhere else in the world.”

The PM was then grilled by the leader of the opposition, Sir Keir Starmer, about the number of people contacted by test and trace ‘falling week-on-week’ – at which point the overall percentage of people who had been reached to provide contacts since May 28 until July 8 sat at 68.6 percent.

As for the daily death toll due to COVID-19, official figures are still ‘unavailable’ when statistics are released by GOV.uk.

This comes after the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, ordered an urgent review of the daily COVID-19 death statistics produced by Public Health England, after it emerged that they may include recovered former sufferers who could have died of other causes.

This could mean the official number of deaths due to COVID-19 could drop by over 5,000, according to PHE, as England is set to implement a 28-day cut off period.

The new definition is now death in a person with a laboratory-confirmed positive COVID-19 test and died within (equal to or less than) 28 days of the first positive specimen date will now be reported.

What this means is that England has had 36,695 deaths using this definition as opposed to the previous reported 42,072 – a difference of 5,377.