MPs say ‘no clear evidence’ Test and Trace scheme works in critical report

A cross-party group of MPs has said there’s “no clear evidence” the £22bn Test and Trace scheme contributed to lower coronavirus (Covid-19) infection levels. “Staggering” Meg Hillier, chair of the Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) behind a critical report, urged the government to justify the “staggering investment of taxpayers’ money”. The MPs said ministers had justified the vast expenditure on preventing a second national lockdown. But they they questioned the programme’s effectiveness noting that England is currently living under its third lockdown. They also urged the scheme, led by Tory peer Dido Harding, to “wean itself off” reliance on thousands of “expensive” consultants and temporary staff. Some of…

0 Comments

Shamima Begum loses British citizenship in landmark test case

Shamima Begum has failed to restore her British citizenship after the Supreme Court ruling that she’d lost her case. 21-year-old Begum was infamously groomed as a 15-year-old child. She was a minor when she entered Syria and also when she married an ISIS fighter. All three of her children have since died. Begum was born in the UK. The government has cited her Bangladeshi heritage as proof of her claim to statehood in Bangladesh. However, Bangladesh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has refused entry and citizenship for Begum. Begum hasn’t been allowed to return to the UK over the course of the trial. According to the Guardian: Lord Pannick QC,…

0 Comments

Catalans set to vote in an election that could be a test for the separatist movement

Voting has started in Spain’s north-eastern Catalonia as 5.3 million voters are called to cast their ballots. It’s an election that will test the region’s secessionist movement. Salvador Illa will lead the ticket of the Socialists’ Party of Catalonia. Until January, he was in charge of Spain’s coronavirus (Covid-19) response as its health minister. A tight race Illa is hoping to end the hold that pro-independence politicians have held in the regional parliament for the past decade. Polls, however, predict a tight race. The Socialists will compete for votes with the two leading pro-secession parties, the left-wing Republic Left of Catalonia and the centre-right Together for Catalonia. People…

0 Comments

Financial watchdogs criticise government’s car crash handling of Test and Trace

Financial watchdogs have sharply criticised the government’s handling of the coronavirus (Covid-19) Test and Trace operation and insisted it must do better.Not enough and too fewNot enough test results are delivered within 24 hours, and too few contacts of infected people are being reached and told to self-isolate, an interim study by the National Audit Office (NAO) found. With the budget for the Test and Trace service for 2020-21 soaring to £22bn, the financial watchdogs said the situation needed to improve.The NAO found that while the government had “rapidly scaled up” the operation from a low base, at times “parts of the national tracing service have barely been…

0 Comments

Boris Johnson shamelessly uses an MP’s Covid diagnosis to plug his failed Test and Trace system

Boris Johnson has, once again, made news headlines for being exposed to coronavirus (Covid-19). And yet again, Downing Street appears reckless in taking the necessary precautions to prevent the virus from spreading. Not one to miss a trick, the prime minister grabbed the opportunity to shamelessly plug the Test and Trace system in a home-made propaganda video. It’s a futile attempt to cover up just how much the Tories have failed us, and just how disgraceful the Test and Trace system has been so far. Flouting his own rules. Again. Tory MP Lee Anderson travelled from Nottinghamshire to meet with the prime minister inside No 10 on Thursday,…

0 Comments

Serco profits soar while Test and Trace reaches lowest ever proportion of contacts

The NHS Test and Trace system has reached the lowest ever proportion of contacts of people who tested positive for coronavirus (Covid-19) in England.Four in 10 close contacts of people who tested positive are still not being reached by the system, at the same time as it recorded its highest weekly number of positive cases.A total of 137,180 people tested positive for Covid-19 in England at least once in the week to 28 October – an increase of 8% on the previous week and the highest weekly number since Test and Trace was launched at the end of May.According to the latest figures, 59.9% of close contacts of…

0 Comments

Firms urge government to sort out the outsourced Test and Trace system

The government needs to sort out the outsourced Test and Trace system because the welcomed extension to the furlough scheme is just a short-term fix, business leaders have said.They point out that it’s a key weapon in the fight against the virus, it would boost confidence, and mean workers are not asked to self-isolate without decent sick pay.Lockdown part twoPrime minister Boris Johnson, speaking at a Downing Street press conference, announced that non-essential retail and hospitality services will be forced to close – while schools stay open – during a four-week national lockdown.It means that pubs, cafes, and restaurants will shut, except for takeaway and delivery services, from…

0 Comments

Intrathecal antibody test request form

If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email publications@phe.gov.uk. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use. Source link

0 Comments

Pressure mounts on government to sack NHS Test and Trace chief

The government is resisting pressure to sack the head of NHS Test and Trace. It comes amid deepening concern from ministers and MPs that the system is failing to stem the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19). “Untenable” Northern Ireland secretary Brandon Lewis insisted that baroness Dido Harding was doing “a very good job”. This is after one Conservative MP called for her to be replaced by a senior military commander. However, Labour warned that Harding’s position was “untenable”, after it emerged that ministers were considering cutting the time people have to self-isolate if they’ve been in contact with someone who has the disease. They were considering the change because…

0 Comments