Councils to introduce own track and trace plans after warning that Government system is ‘not fit for purpose’


COUNCILS in England are set to introduce their own track-and-trace system after warning that the government’s is “not fit for purpose”.

Three further councils in West Yorkshire plan to create their own contact tracing process in a bid to help curb the spread of infection locally.

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Manchester has seen a spike in cases with its mayor slamming the government’s contact tracing system[/caption]

PA:Press Association

People pass through a Covid-19 testing centre at Bradford University in West Yorkshire as the council sets up its own track and trace system[/caption]

The Daily Mirror reports that many councils are increasingly concerned that the government’s system is failing to identify the volume of contacts needed to prevent regional outbreaks.

Track-and-trace, launched in May, is essential to keep the virus at bay as Downing Street looks to avoid a return to a national lockdown and prioritise containing local clusters of infections.

Contact tracing works by stopping the spread of coronavirus through a community, with authorities hoping that by isolating an infected person you can stop the chain of transmission.

Three councils in West Yorkshire – Calderdale, Kirklees and Bradford- are now planning to implement their own system after claiming that the national system isn’t up to scratch.

Calderdale council, which has the sixth highest infection rate in England, told the Mirror they hope their system will be “up and running very soon”.

Bradford council, meanwhile, said that bosses are in talks with Downing Street while Kirklees is in “the very early stages”.


Manchester mayor Andy Burnham, whose city has seen an alarming rise in infections, also labelled the government’s system as “not fit for purpose”.

It comes as Blackburn With Darwen council began developing its own system this week.

Under the new rules, local contact tracers will visit people in person if they get can’t through to residents by email, text or phone after two days.

Director of Public Health at Blackburn with Darwen Council, Professor Dominic Harrison said the national system is “not tracing enough cases and contacts fast enough.”



Last week, almost 5,000 close contacts were missed by contact traces – or 25 per cent of people – compared with 22 per cent the week before that.

Other areas with spikes in cases such as Leicester and Liverpool launched heavy local action to carry out door-to-door contact tracing to find anyone who might be infectious.

The World Health Organisation has thrown its support behind local track and trace systems, with special envoy Dr David Nabarro they were “absolutely” the right idea.


It comes as a concerning spike in coronavirus cases has left Downing Street mulling new restrictions for Brits in hard-hit areas.

The PM pushed back planned openings of businesses due to open on August 1 by another two weeks because of warnings of a second spike.

And more areas including Manchester were put into a local lockdown last week after a rise in cases.

The area declared a major incident days after going into a local lockdown and the mayor called for a return to shielding.

Infection rates for the week to Thursday – when the new measures were introduced – show cases per 100,000 people still rising in every part of the conurbation.

Those in Manchester and Tameside have more than doubled in seven days, while Oldham’s infections remain the highest and the fastest-growing.

PA:Press Association

Calderdale is one of the areas where new measures have been implemented to prevent the spread of coronavirus[/caption]


Rochdale has also seen a spike in cases[/caption]


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