Nearly a QUARTER of Covid-infected people do not share details of their closest contacts

Nearly 60,000 people infected with Covid did not tell NHS Test and Trace last week who they came in contact with, according to official figures suggesting England may be revolting against the ‘pingdemic’ chaos.

The controversial contact tracing system made 250,000 calls in the seven-day period ending July 21, making it the busiest week since the darkest period of the second wave in January.

But nearly a quarter of infected people contacted were uncooperative, signaling that people may now be trying to protect family, friends and colleagues from self-isolation.

The number of Covid-infected people who have avoided mentioning close contacts has risen steadily since the third wave started to pick up steam in June, from 14.1 percent to 23.1 percent.

Government data from yesterday underscored how bad the “pingdemic” has gotten, with a record 1.5 million quarantine instructions sent out in the same week.

Millions of workers have been unable to do their jobs because they have been told to isolate themselves, leaving supermarket shelves empty, pubs and restaurants closed and trains canceled across the country.

Boris Johnson is under increasing pressure to end the chaos by pushing forward the date for exempting fully vaccinated people from self-isolation rules.

The number of Covid-infected people who avoid mentioning close contacts has risen consistently since the third wave started to pick up steam in June, from 14.1 percent to 23.1 percent in the most recent week. Blue bars show the number of people contacted by Test and Trace who did not mention close contacts, while the red line shows how the proportion of people who did not disclose details has increased over time

A record 1.5 million people were asked by NHS Test and Trace last week to self-isolate, official data shows England's 'pingdemic' chaos continues

A record 1.5 million people were asked by NHS Test and Trace last week to self-isolate, official data shows England’s ‘pingdemic’ chaos continues

Keir Starmer demands self-isolation for double punches on Aug 7, more than a WEEK ahead of government plan as Scotland and Wales lead the way

Boris Johnson is under increasing pressure today to end the ‘pingdemic’ by bringing forward the date on which fully vaccinated people will be exempted from self-isolation rules.

Keir Starmer has joined calls for the timetable to be brought forward from August 16 to August 7 – pointing out that Wales has opted to do so.

Scotland will also remove the requirement for the double jab coming into contact with positive cases from 9 August – but the prime minister has refused to budge despite affected companies warning of food shortages.

In a round of interview this morning, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps reiterated that there is no intention to change the date, although he admitted: ‘We are, if you will, a little cautious.’

However, Sir Keir said in a statement: “This has been a summer of chaos for British businesses and British families.”

“The Tory government has never been able to explain the logic of their self-isolation rules and has made the same mistakes over and over again.

“While the British public has tried to do the right thing, we saw the instincts of this administration as Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak tried to avoid the isolation that millions of people have endured.

The government’s slack approach to this global pandemic is crippling our economy and creating real problems for businesses and families alike. Welsh Labor has shown what can be done and it is time for the Tories to do the same.”

Labor leader Keir Starmer has joined calls for the timetable to be moved from August 16 to August 7 – pointing out that Wales has opted to do so.

Scotland will also remove the requirement for the double jab coming into contact with positive cases from 9 August – but the prime minister has refused to budge despite affected companies warning of food shortages.

The £37bn Test and Trace program – which was launched last May – has been labeled by politicians as a huge waste of money for failing to meet its sole goal of stopping another lockdown.

Since its inception 14 months ago, England has faced two more national lockdowns and two Covid waves.

Even SAGE has criticized the program for having a “marginal impact” on the spread of the virus, with the former head of the Treasury calling it the “most wasteful government spending of all time.”

The system should find and tell Covid-positive people and their closest contacts to self-isolate to break the transmission chains.

When someone tests positive for Covid, they receive their results via text, email or phone call and are told to self-isolate.

They get one text message telling them they’ve tested positive, then at least two follow-up messages asking them to register with the service. Those who are called will get the voicemail on their answering machine.

They are then contacted by Test and Trace to ensure they stay at home and are asked for details of any close contacts – people they’ve been in contact with for at least 15 minutes – who may also have the virus.

If NHS Test and Trace contact tracers cannot reach the infected people, their details will be passed on to local authorities for follow-up.

Of the 251,190 people asked for close contacts in the past week, only 193,000 have provided the names and numbers of those to whom they may have passed the virus on.

More than 58,000 refused to do so.

It marks the largest number of people who refused to participate in Test and Trace since January and the highest number since March – at 23.1 percent.

It’s an increase from the 21.2 percent (40,602 people) who did not provide details in the week ending July 14.

Separate Test and Trace figures show that infected Britons named 596,643 people as close contacts, of which 426,187 were household contacts and 170,456 were non-domestic contacts.

Data shows this is the lowest percentage of close contacts outside the household identified for Test and Trace since March – when the country was in lockdown and ‘stay at home’ orders were still in effect.

The contact tracing system is also struggling to reach as many people as possible, with 14.8 percent of infected Britons not answering their calls.

This is the highest rate since last October, when Test and Trace failed to reach 14.5 percent of people who tested positive.

In all, when children sent home to be isolated from school were included, more than 2.5 million people were quarantined last week — or four percent of the entire population.  However, some people pinged by the app would have been contacted by Test and Trace as well.  And some of the people who tested positive may have also been pinged or told to self-isolate

In all, when children sent home to be isolated from school were included, more than 2.5 million people were quarantined last week — or four percent of the entire population. However, some people pinged by the app would have been contacted by Test and Trace as well. And some of the people who tested positive may have also been pinged or told to self-isolate

Graph shows: Number of people told to isolate by the NHS Covid app (blue), contacts of someone who tested positive, reached by test and trace call practitioners (orange) and people who isolate themselves because they tested positive each month ( green)

Graph shows: Number of people told to isolate by the NHS Covid app (blue), contacts of someone who tested positive, reached by test and trace call practitioners (orange) and people who isolate themselves because they tested positive each month ( green)

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