June 20, 2021

UK Covid live: ‘sporadic failure’ by test and trace contributed to rise of India variant, leaked council report claims

Latest updates: failure to provide full data about cases to eight councils in April and...

Latest updates: failure to provide full data about cases to eight councils in April and May could have contributed to spread of India variant, according to report

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  • Global coronavirus updates – live

1.26pm BST

Here are some more lines from the Downing Street lobby briefing.

And, not quite white smoke on what was actually decided, but a flavour, govt source says, ‘Liz left the room happier than Eustice’ – should have better indication by end of the day which way this vital conversation ended up https://t.co/3yukfA7Avh

The prime minister met with leaders of the United Kingdom’s Jewish community this morning. He thanked them for their efforts throughout the pandemic and condemned recent antisemitic incidents in the UK.

12.55pm BST

At the Downing Street lobby briefing the prime minister’s spokesman was asked about the BBC story about a leaked council report blaming “the sporadic failure” of NHS test and trace for contributing to the rise of the India variant. (See 12.31pm.)

The spokesman stressed that the test and trace problem referred to in the story only affected a small number of councils and lasted for a short period of time. He said:

In this specific instance all positive cases were contacted and asked to self-isolate for 10 days. As you know, there was a short delay when asking some of those positive cases to provide details of individuals they had contacted since contracting Covid. This issue was across a small number of local authority areas and was quickly resolved.

The spread of the variant will be down to a number of factors. This was an issue that cross occurred across a small number of local authority areas so I don’t think it’s possible to draw that conclusion from this.

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