‘IT error’ conceals the collapse of England’s contact tracing system

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-54412581

Embarrassing you think but not dangerous? Read on:

Nearly 16,000 cases of coronavirus were not entered into the national computer system used for official figures because of a technical glitch, Public Health England has said. Some of the unreported cases were then added to Saturday’s figure of 12,872 new cases and Sunday’s 22,961 figure. PHE said all of the cases “received their Covid-19 test result as normal”. But it means there has been a delay in tracing their contacts, who may have been exposed to the virus.

That last sentence is not discussed or returned to in the report as if it’s just an insignificant observation.

So, the statistics had a time lag allowing the infection level for England to appear lower than in Scotland, for the first time, encouraging gleeful but daft tweet from the likes of Lib Dem Alex Cole-Hamilton.

Far more important, however, it was evidence of a failure to trace contacts within the 24 hour target set for teams trying to close down outbreaks.

Weeks ago there were media reports of less that 50% of contacts being traced in the North of England, compared to 99.7% in the Aberdeen ‘Unionist pub’ outbreak. How bad are things now?

9 thoughts on “‘IT error’ conceals the collapse of England’s contact tracing system”

  1. Somehow, it is as suspected…was it a mistake? Is the damage done, do some folk in Scotland think they’d be better off with the Tories managing the whole thing? God forbid.
    Maybe some considered moving to England, it might be safer. Properties, and there are many, are selling like hotcakes around where we live, who are the people snapping them up? Escapees from England? It could be, and it could be just the start.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, the “But it means there has been a delay in tracing their contacts, who may have been exposed to the virus” should have been ringing alarm bells and banner headlines in the media.
    Yet the pattern of the last 6 months continues, deafening silence.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Can you imagine the glee with which the opposition and media in Scotland would have reacted had 12, never mind 12 000, people not been recorded in Scotland? They would have demanded that Jeanne Freeman have her head shaved, be paraded in sackcloth and ashes before a baying mob of hacks and the Baroness Colonel’s crew before being stoned and her body buried in quicklime.

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  4. As I monitor daily the data
    1 week ago i was beginning that the no.of new cases for England that something very seriously going wrong and undereporting was going on
    When you pro rata with Scotland it simply did not follow the expected track
    And such grew daily
    If someone worth their salt in charge spotted what i was witnessing then they could have located the problem sooner
    However up here the Unionists were jumping up and down with great gusto
    As the Scottish new cases pro rata were climbing
    If they and their researches had a brain at all then they would have had the savvy to spot what i was witnessing
    As my Granny would say
    Hid yer horses laddie

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  5. According to Sky news website, the errors occurred in UK. only near the end of the article, buried deep, does one find out it is in fact England.

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  6. I’ve been told that the figure of around 16,000 will possibly turn out to be 16,833 (IIRC).

    It would seem (says the positor of this theory tells me) that the “IT error” is caused by the fact that the data for daily cases are in an Excel spreadsheet and each case is awarded a column (limit of 16834 with caveat of re memory…), rather than a row (what’s the limit on that?) I’m not by any means an IT expert, so I’d’ve charged far less than however much they paid to tell PHE that…

    Of course, this may just be a scurrilous rumour. If so, how depressing is it that it’s believable?

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    1. Oops!

      Coinneach, on the next thread says it’s 16,384 columns. So I *didn’t* recall correctly!

      Apologies. $£%%&) dyscalculia…

      Like

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