Britain on ‘Knife Edge’ with Test and Trace ‘not fit for purpose’, according to New Report on Testing from Independent SAGE

  • Current test & trace system ‘inadequate for pandemic control’, according to new report from Independent SAGE
  • ‘Flawed’ system has ‘illogical focus on numbers tested’.
  • Britain on ‘knife edge’ but report sets out set of recommendations to test & trace that it claims would bring virus back under control
  • Multiple concerns about ‘Operation Moonshot’ including ‘poor rationale’ ‘enormous projected cost’ and reliance on private contractors with ‘poor performance’ track record
  • Government messaging criticised including use of ‘world-beating’ ‘magic bullet’ ‘moonshot’.
  • Detailed roadmap of testing strategy required with identification of asymptomatic individuals critical
  • Independent SAGE urges government to pursue Zero COVID strategy through testing, contact tracing, behaviour change and social distancing

A MAJOR new report from Independent SAGE on Testing and Tracing will be published on Friday. Independent SAGE calls the government’s current Test and Trace is system unfit for purpose and ‘inadequate for pandemic control’.

The new report includes extensive recommendations for implementing an effective Test and Trace system to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. These include increasing overall testing, making the reporting of new cases more transparent and putting in place mechanisms to assess the effectiveness of each testing modality.

Independent SAGE is critical of “Operation Moonshot,” believing it lacks the necessary detail needed to implement Testing and Tracing at the level required. It is also concerned about the £100 billion estimated cost of the project and its reliance on private sector contracts given their poor performance so far in implementing an effective Test and Trace system.

Independent SAGE Chair Sir David King says this is a “knife edge opportunity to improve testing, tracing and isolation to get cases down, giving us a good chance of being able to get together with family at Christmas. Let’s invest a fraction of £100 billion in doing that now instead of on a new magic bullet that isn’t available for another 6 months.”

About Independent SAGE:

Independent SAGE is a group of scientists who are working together to provide independent scientific advice to the UK government and public on how to minimise deaths and support Britain’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. Sir David King, the former chief Scientific Adviser to the UK government, chairs the group and oversees its reports.