Jonathan Ashworth has slammed the government after analysis by Labour found that the error in the test and trace system meant as many as 48,000 people who had been in close contact with someone with coronavirus were not traced.
In a response to Matt Hancock’s Covid update to parliament this afternoon, the Shadow Health Secretary called for his counterpart to apologise for the error and said: “This isn’t just a shambles, it’s so much worse than that.”
Over 15,000 Covid cases went unpublished in the government’s daily reports and were not passed onto contact tracers and public health teams last week due to what the Prime Minister called a “computing issue”.
Ashworth told the Commons: “In recent weeks, we’ve had people told to travel hundreds of miles for a test. We’ve had hundreds of children out of school unable to get a test. We’ve had tracers sitting idle watching Netflix…
“And now, at one of the most crucial points in this pandemic, we learn that almost 16,000 positive cases went unreported for a week. That means as many as 48,000 contacts not traced and not isolated.