New figures reveal how many coronavirus contacts are actually traced

New figures reveal how many coronavirus contacts are actually traced

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FEWER than half of people who come into contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus are alerted.

New data published by the government shows a regional breakdown of how successful NHS Test and Trace has been in its attempt to reach those exposed to the virus.

The statistics came after Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham issued another call to the government, asking them to hand over control of the tracing system to a local level.

He has been pushing for greater powers for councils across Greater Manchester to handle the system, and a reallocation of resources from a national level to support a “more sophisticated, targeted approach”.

Speaking earlier this week, Mr Burnham said: "We need to move beyond this, we need to agree an exit strategy from these restrictions with the government and as part of that we need the national Test and Trace under more local control and we will take responsibility for it.

"What has been most effective is door to door testing and tracing – in Oldham, that is what got their numbers down and that is what we need across all of Greater Manchester.

“It really isn’t good enough when the front line is very much with us now – we need to be empowered to take the decisions to protect our communities rather than constantly waiting for Government to get its act together."

In Bolton, teams were only able to make contact with three quarters of people who tested positive for coronavirus.

The system needs to ask 80 per cent of people who have been in "close contact" with a confirmed case to self-isolate in order to work, a target that it's often fallen short of. 

Across the borough, teams were able to reach just 57 per cent of these contacts.

The quarter of confirmed cases who aren't contacted lower the number of contacts asked to self-isolate down to 43 per cent.

Teams were able to reach 564 people of the 751 who had tested positive and been passed onto them between May 28 and August 26, with the most recent week of data showing even stronger results, with 31 out of 36 – or 86 per cent – of new cases contacted.

Despite the promising start, less than half of those exposed to the virus have been advised to self-isolate – a far cry from the government's target of 80 per cent.

NHS Test and Trace have been able to identify 1,606 close contacts who needed to self-isolate, but just 913 were successfully reached.

However, the success rate does appear to be improving, with 67 contacts reached out of 106 people identified at risk in the week up to August 26 – a total of 63 per cent.