Sunday, 18 October 2020

Time is of the Essence!

I am surprised that a current member of the SAGE committee has had to remind leaders of the UK Government's (it has little to do with the NHS) expensive 'Test and Trace' system, that returns of results needs to be fast for the process to have any chance of working (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/oct/18/coronavirus-test-results-must-come-in-24-hours-says-sage-scientist). The 'Test and Trace' operatives seem fixated on the numbers of tests (because it makes them appear to be active?) rather than speed. The SAGE expert reckons, that delaying results for longer than 24 hours, means a very poor rate of tracing of contacts (he even suggests that fewer tests would be a better strategy if it speeded up the results). As it is, studies confirm that remarkably few contacts are actually traced and, once traced, many do not choose to effectively self-isolate. News, that the police are (despite promises to the contrary) to be given names of people testing positive, is also likely to be a disincentive for people to use the 'NHS' (again, not really an appropriate label) app to help tracing. We don't seem to be fixing this 'broken' system at all quickly.

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