Coronavirus latest news: One in four Patients Not Reached By Test And Trace System


A quarter of coronavirus patients transferred to the NHS Test and Trace system could not be reached to provide contacts, new figures show.

Of the 6,923 people who had their cases transferred to the contact tracing system during its third week of operation, 1,791 (25.9 per cent) could not be reached by the manual tracing scheme.

Eighty-one per cent of the 30,286 people identified as close contacts of positive Covid-19 cases were reached and told to self-isolate, the Department of Health added.

It comes after a Conservative minister claimed that the NHS test and trace system will continue to get “better and better” despite criticism on its roll-out.

Nadhim Zawahi, minister for business and industry, said that the system was “essential infrastructure” and that “we have to remain vigilant and ahead of the virus”.

Iran coronavirus death toll reaches 10,000

Iran has today announced 134 new deaths from the novel coronavirus, which takes the overall death toll from the Middle East's worst outbreak past 10,000.

The country has struggled to contain the spread of the virus since reporting its first cases in February.

Recorded figures show that new confirmed cases have risen since early May, although officials have denied this amounts to a second wave.

Two further coronavirus deaths in Scotland

A total of 2,482 patients have died in Scotland after testing positive for coronavirus, up by two from 2,480 on Wednesday, the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.

The First Minister told the Scottish Government's virtual coronavirus briefing that 18,196 people have now tested positive for the virus in Scotland, up by five from 18,191 the previous day.

This is the second day in a row when new cases in Scotland have been in single figures, something which last happened before lockdown on March 11.

Good news roundup: Eiffel Tower reopens

Here's your daily dose of positive news, as the Eiffel Tower reopens, and Thailand and Taiwan both reach new milestones of no new domestic transmissions of coronavirus.

Longest Ebola outbreak officially over, Congolese authorities declare

The longest and deadliest outbreak to ever hit the Democratic Republic of Congo has officially come to an end after 23 months.

It is now 42 days – double the virus’s three-week incubation period – since the last patient was discharged from an Ebola treatment centre, Congolese authorities announced.

This signals the end of an epidemic that has infected almost 3,700 people and led to 2,280 fatalities.

But there are concerns that unprecedented attention on North Kivu and Ituri will dissipate as resources are shifted to tackle the world’s largest measles outbreak, a new Ebola epidemic on the other side of the country, and Covid-19, with 142 coronavirus deaths confirmed to date.

Our global health security correspondent Sarah Newey has more.

Premier Inn safety measures to include PPE

Guests who are staying at Premier Inn hotels this summer will be kept apart by floor markings in communal areas, while staff will be behind acrylic screens at check-in and wear additional PPE “where appropriate”. 

New no-touch key return boxes and automated hand sanitisers are among other changes that will be introduced by the hotel chain as it prepares to reopen on July 4. 

Dido Harding praises public for 'playing their part'

Dido Harding, executive chair of NHS Test and Trace, has said of the figures released this morning:

In just three weeks, NHS Test and Trace has already reached more than one hundred thousand people who may have otherwise unknowingly spread the virus.

The strength of NHS Test and Trace lies not just in our thousands of trained tracers, but in the public playing their part – providing us with the vital information we need to stop the spread of coronavirus, protect our families and communities, and ultimately save lives.

So as lockdown measures are eased, I continue to urge all those experiencing symptoms – a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste - to book a test immediately.

We also need everyone who is contacted by NHS Test and Trace to respond to our calls, texts or emails and to follow the advice the receive.

2,000 jobs axed at Royal Mail amid Covid-19 crisis

Britain's postal operator Royal Mail has said that it will axe 2,000 management jobs as part of a cost-cutting overhaul.

Postal service workers have helped the nation cope with the coronavirus lockdown, with annual results showing that the outbreak had led to a demand for parcels.

However, Royal Mail has continued to experience a slump in its core letters business. Executive chairman Keith Williams said: "Covid-19 has accelerated those trends, presenting additional challenges".

One in four patients not reached by test and trace

England's coronavirus test and trace system was not able to reach a quarter of people who had their cases transferred to the system after a positive test for the new coronavirus, UK's Department of Health has said.

Of 6,923 people who had their case transferred to the contact tracing system in its third week of operation, 1,791, or 25.9 per cent, could not be reached.

Of a further 30,286 people identified as close contacts of positive cases, 24,734 (81.7 per cent) were successfully reached and asked to self-isolate.

Cases in Indonesia pass 50,000

The number of coronavirus infections in Indonesia has reached more than 50,000 as the government prepares to allow more businesses to reopen.

A task force said that the rise in case numbers correlate with an increase in testing capacity, but levels are still lower than recommended, considering the country's population of almost 270 million.

Businesses started to reopen in Indonesia earlier this month, with more set to open throughout July.

No cap on numbers at places of worship, MPs told

There is to be no cap placed on the amount of people attending places of worship once they have reopened, MPs have heard.

Conservative MP Andrew Selous, in his role as the Church of England's representative in the Commons, said that weddings will be restricted to a maximum of 30 attendees, which will be "a huge relief to many couples".

"For church services, there is no maximum number within a place of worship as long as the premises comply with Covid secure guidelines," he said.

Coronavirus crisis hits 'war on plastic

The ‘war on plastic’ has been hit by the coronavirus crisis, with face masks ending up in seas that are already clogged with eight million tonnes of plastic per year.

As well as getting into the sea, there have been reports of ‘fatbergs’ - made up of face masks, gloves and wipes - which have clogged up sewer systems in the US after they were flushed.