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Peterborough national Test and Trace performance below average

Contact tracing through the national Test and Trace system in Peterborough is falling well below the regional and national average, with only half of "non-complex" close contacts identified.
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The NHS Test and Trace system is only having a 'marginal impact', Sage has warned (Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire)

Peterborough performs well when it comes to the percentage of people transferred to the contact tracing system, with 83% of those testing positive within the local authority reached and told to self-isolate. According to NHS Test and Trace statistics, there were 883 cases confirmed between May 28 and September 30, with 729 of those reached.

However, Test and Trace cases handled online or by call centres – those dubbed "non complex" – have only been able to reach 50% of contacts of individuals who have tested positive for the virus. Out of the 2084 cases, 1034 close contacts were identified.

This is replicated across the country – most local authorities are performing better when it comes to transferring people to the contact tracing system, rather than identifying non-complex close contacts – but is well-below last week's national average of 62.4%.

These figures relate to the national Test and Trace system, rather than the local scheme run by Peterborough City Council.

Scientific experts have warned that the Test and Trace system is only having a "marginal impact" in reducing the spread of Covid-19.

In documents released on Monday, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) wrote: "The relatively low levels of engagement with the system... coupled with testing delays and likely poor rates of adherence with self-isolation suggests that this system is having a marginal impact on transmission at the moment.

"Unless the system grows at the same rate as the epidemic, and support is given to people to enable them to adhere to self-isolation, it is likely that the impact of Test, Trace and Isolate will further decline in the future."

In response to the criticism, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: "If you look at the work which Test and Trace has done, it has now reached over 500,000 people who may otherwise have been at risk of unknowingly passing on the virus.

"It’s also doing very important work supporting local authorities, ensuring people can get a test where they need one and passing on contact-tracing data."