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£37bn Test and Trace scheme ‘just 10% of Covid cases’

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No10’s Test and Trace system has had little impact in curbing the spread of Covid, according to official estimates.

The controversial £37bn plan has been heavily criticized in the past year for being ineffective in breaking the transmission chains.

New models of government showed that the program — described by critics as the biggest waste of taxpayers’ money ever — cut business by just 10 percent.

It also estimates that people who isolate themselves have prevented 1.2 million to 2 million secondary cases, with NHS Test and Trace being responsible for stopping 300,000 to 500,000 of these.

The estimate assumed that people with Covid symptoms and their households would still be isolated if testing was not offered.

But health chiefs noted that without the offer to test, millions more people would have needlessly self-isolated if they weren’t infected, because they wouldn’t have been able to prove they were negative with a Pap smear.

Test and Trace identified some 900,000 positive cases in August, according to official figures.

It comes as Boris Johnson will warn today that the pandemic is ‘far from over’ when he unveils his ‘winter plan’, admitting that a new lockdown cannot be completely ruled out.

The figure shows that just over a quarter of Covid transmission occurs in the first four days of contracting the virus, while 73 percent of transmission occurs after day four

The graph shows the proportion of Covid cases that decreased among different groups, such as positive PCR cases (blue and light blue) and their household contacts (red).  The dotted line shows how many of these cases would have occurred in an imaginary scenario where people developed those symptoms and their households became isolated.  Anything above that line was the added impact of NHS Test and Trace

The graph shows the proportion of Covid cases that decreased among different groups, such as positive PCR cases (blue and light blue) and their household contacts (red). The dotted line shows how many of these cases would have occurred in an imaginary scenario where people developed those symptoms and their households became isolated. Anything above that line was the added impact of NHS Test and Trace

The gray line shows the share of transmission reduction from NHS Test Trace and Isolate.  The blue line in the left graph shows how much transmission would be reduced without the test system if people and their household stayed at home when they had symptoms

The gray line shows the share of transmission reduction from NHS Test Trace and Isolate. The blue line in the left graph shows how much transmission would be reduced without the test system if people and their household stayed at home when they had symptoms

The graph shows estimates for the R-percent without testing and tracing (red line) of whether the virus was able to spread freely;  the percentage when not tested but people followed the isolation rules when they had symptoms (grey line) and the R percentage that was actually recorded (blue line).  The solid black line shows the reduction to R-percent caused by testing and tracing, while the dotted black line estimates the direct impact of NHS Test and Trace

The graph shows estimates for the R-percent without testing and tracing (red line) of whether the virus was able to spread freely; the percentage when not tested but people followed the isolation rules when they had symptoms (grey line) and the R percentage that was actually recorded (blue line). The solid black line shows the reduction to R-percent caused by testing and tracing, while the dotted black line estimates the direct impact of NHS Test and Trace

The graph shows the number of people who would have been isolated at home if NHS Test and Trace had not been present.  The testing system estimates it stopped 14 million people from needlessly isolating themselves between August and April, whom it identified through testing as not infected.  The dark blue part of the graph shows confirmed Covid cases that would have been isolated without Test and Trace, compared to uninfected (light blue) and household contacts (red)

The graph shows the number of people who would have been isolated at home if NHS Test and Trace had not been present. The testing system estimates it stopped 14 million people from needlessly isolating themselves between August and April, whom it identified through testing as not infected. The dark blue part of the graph shows confirmed Covid cases that would have been isolated without Test and Trace, compared to uninfected (light blue) and household contacts (red)

A report published by NHS Test and Trace looked at the impact if people with symptoms were still isolated without access to testing.

It did this by analyzing the transmission reduction through testing, tracing and isolating from the current scheme.

This was then compared to an imagined scenario where testing was not offered and households were told to self-isolate if someone developed Covid symptoms.

A panel with ‘Professor Lockdown’ Neil Ferguson, an epidemiologist at Imperial College London, helped with the modeling.

The study, which looked at the period from last August to April, found that the Test and Trace schedule reduced transmission between 10 and 28 percent.

Will Boris’ winter plan be enough to avert lockdown?

Boris Johnson will warn today that the pandemic is ‘far from over’ when he unveils his ‘winter plan’ – admitting that a new lockdown cannot be completely ruled out.

The prime minister will further elaborate on his strategy in a press conference this afternoon, after Health Minister Sajid Javid gave the outline to MPs in a statement.

He will push for vaccines to be the main defense against the disease, with boosters for those over 50 and shots for those under 16.

But the blueprint includes the return of mandatory masks, working from home and some social distancing if the NHS is threatened. Vaccine passports will remain an option, even if they will not be introduced in England as originally intended from next month.

And Health Minister Nadhim Zahawi said this morning that lockdown is on the table as a ‘last resort’ if infections spiral out of control.

Scientists are already warning the country is entering winter with a high number of cases, saying this “doesn’t bode well” in hopes of avoiding further restrictions.

However, the report claimed that the T&T system was “critical” in lowering the R-rate — a measure of how quickly the virus is spreading — below one.

It told 11 million people to isolate during the study period.

However, the report cautions that the data provides a “very high-level picture of the impact of the entire system” and should not be used to evaluate its specific components.

And it notes that testing and contact tracing may have prevented outbreaks in other settings, such as from hospitals, that weren’t included in the numbers.

It also warned that it is “extremely difficult to estimate how people would really behave” if testing had not been done, so the numbers believed to isolate without testing could be overestimated and the impact of Test and Trace underestimate.

NHS Test and Trace has contacted more than 14.9 million infected people in England since its launch last June and has processed their close contacts and over 262 million tests.

Between August and April, the program identified between 25 and 65 percent of infected Britons and their close contacts.

The Department of Health and Social Care said: ‘Since its inception, NHS Test and Trace has played a key role in countering this virus – along with its phenomenal vaccination program – by connecting with more than 14.9 million people from across the globe. country and to break the transmission chains to stop outbreaks.

“With about one in three people with Covid showing no symptoms, regular testing and contact tracing, in addition to the defense wall built by the vaccination program, are fundamental to ongoing efforts to keep people safe and return to a more normal life.” way of life. .’

It comes as the prime minister is set to flesh out his strategy in a press conference this afternoon, after Health Minister Sajid Javid gave the outline to MPs in a statement.

He will push for vaccines to be the main defense against the disease, with boosters for those over 50 and shots for those under 16.

Boris Johnston said yesterday: “The pandemic is far from over, but thanks to our phenomenal vaccine program, new treatments and testing, we can live with the virus without significant restrictions on our freedoms.”

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